Tour Logistics

Accommodation - Local & Epic
One of the benefits of keeping the group size small is that it enables us to stay in the smaller, family run establishments that add to the authenticity of the travel experience we hope to provide. We have carefully selected the places we stay in based on their ‘personality’ and the hospitality of the hosts. Be it Parador’s in Spain, Manoir’s in France or Agriturismi in Italy, we seek to connect you with the places we travel in, through the accommodations we choose. As a rule all rooms have en-suite facilities.

In terms of the graded level of these accommodations we do make a distinction between our tour categories though.  This doesn’t necessarily reflect the quality on offer but rather relates to the type of the accommodation we choose.  To keep it simple we refer to this distinction in the same terms as the tours themselves – Classic and Expedition.

Local – Since our Local Adventures usually involve shorter days in the saddle, 2 and 3 day stays in one place, and are designed to cater for non riders as well, we select accommodations with an eye on the amenities and a touch of luxury. On these tours you get chance to settle into the accommodation and enjoy the facilities on offer so we choose the accommodations accordingly.

Epic - By their nature our Epic tours involve daily changes of accommodation and hence it makes less sense to pay a premium for accommodations with luxury facilities, if you not going to get chance to appreciate them. We tend to choose ‘Classic’ accommodation for the first and last hotels on these tours but in between we have less of a focus on the amenities.  The tour cost reflects the savings we are able to make in this respect.

What does the trip price include?
This varies slightly from tour to tour but as a rule B & B accommodation is provided on all the tours. A slight distinction is made between Local and Expedition accommodation but as a rule all rooms have en-suite facilities and are selected for their comfort and personality. We provide all evening meals with the exception of one ‘Dinner on your Own’ when you are sent forth alone on your own culinary journey. Also included are two or more first class guides, van support, all shuttles, private tours and tastings, 2 picnic lunches, original itineraries on the road less travelled, trip literature, super snacks during the day and luggage transfers.Each itinerary also includes highlights specific to that particular tour from wine tastings to cultural site visits. The specifics for these are included in the detailed itineraries for each respective tour. Since most things are included perhaps an easier way to answer this question is to look at what is not included.
What is not included?
•    Airfares
•    Insurance
•    Bike Hire
•    Bike case transfer (see below for exceptions)
•    Personal items when you are on the tour
•    Wine (we run an optional wine kitty on tour)
Flights and Travel Assistence
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 minimize the risk of missing the trip start due to flight related delays.
Travel Assistence
For travel assistence before and after the tour please talk to Angela and her team at our travel partner Travel Associates on 1800 612 192. Be sure to let them know you are traveling with Ride and Seek as they organise all our travel needs, including tour hotels and flights, so will easily be able to match up your requirements.
Grading
Our grading system is designed to act as a guide to help participants choose the tour best suited to their cycling abilities. Please be aware that a certain degree of subjectivity is inherent in attempts to classify difficulty levels and therefore we generally suggest that you underestimate rather than overestimate your capabilities. That said our van support is second to none and there is no shame in hitching a lift if you need to.
The Group
We prefer to keep the group sizes on our tours small. From experience we feel the best balance when it comes to tour numbers is somewhere between 10 -16 people both  in terms of the social dynamic and the quality of customer service that we can provide. The maximum number on the Classic tours is 16 and in the event we go over this number on an Expedition tour we bring a third guide along.
Tour Payments
The cut off point for paying the balance on all tours is 90 days. Prior to this, in order to secure your place on a tour you simply need to fill out the booking form and pay the deposit. 90 days marks the point at which the balance needs to be paid in full though and hence tours booked within this period require full payment at the time of booking. Our full Terms and Conditions can be read here.
Pre tour
We are more than happy to provide advice on travel arrangements to and from the tour as well as offering tips on where to go both before and after the tour itself. Once you have paid the balance for your chosen tour you will receive a detailed itinerary - sent out around 6 weeks before the tour starts - which includes destination and trip specific information as well as general trip preparation tips.
Arrival and Departure
The start and end point for all of our tours is the hotels that we begin and end the tours in. The Essential information tab on the tour pages gives specific details in this regard for each tour. When the hotel is not easily accessible we also provide a shuttle from a designated point – normally a transport hub – to make getting there easier. We always provide a shuttle at the end of each tour that will take you to a transport hub from where you are able to connect to your post tour destination.
Meals
We really try to immerse you in the culture of the areas that we visit and this is very much reflected by the menus that we present on tour. We seek to incorporate the regional flavours into the meals you’ll eat whilst at the same time trying to provide as much variety as possible. In some cases you’ll eat al la carte whereas in others there is a set menu or a multi course buffet. However the food is presented we can assure you will be blown away by the range and quality of the food on offer.

As well as putting a lot of time into selecting great menus on the tour we are also passionate about the wines that accompany them. It is a strange coincidence that many of the iconic cycling areas of Europe are also great wine regions – it is certainly the case with our tours. As such we are always keen to present to you a range of the finest wines each area we travel in has to offer. We run an optional wine kitty system which covers the cost of the wines on tour. Click here to read details of how the wine kitty works.
Transport
Whilst on tour all your travel needs are covered by us. This includes transfers, road support and any extra shuttles that are required. Obviously your bike will be your primary mode of transport whilst you are on tour but you will be given van support each day which will serve to keep you fed and watered as well as providing you with a lift if you need it.
Bikes
The choice is yours when it comes to you deciding what your trusty steed on tour will be. We appreciate the deep affinity that a person can feel towards their own bike and particularly on the tougher tours it is always nice to rely on ‘old faithful’ rather than break in a new bike. That said please have a look at our bikes as they are of the highest quality and are geometrically fairly neutral so if you choose to hire a bike we don’t think you’ll be disappointed. We charge a per day rate of €30 to hire a bike.
Insurance
We recommend that you have adequate travel insurance organized before you come on tour that covers baggage, health, travel and accident insurance.  Ride and Seek will not assume responsibility or liability for any loss or damage to persons or their personal effects, or for any injury or loss sustained during the tour.