Frequently Asked Questions – Self Guided Tours
How does a “self-guided” vacation work?
These vacations are recommended for independent travelers comfortable cycling in Italy where the local population may be unable to converse in English. You act as your own tour-guide and ride rain or shine — there is no support vehicle.
All CycleItalia self-guided packages include a highlighted master map (one per group) and daily RideGuides (cue-sheet) for each guest, lodging in 3-4 star accommodations (quite often the same lodgings featured on our guided-tours) along with a buffet breakfast each morning. Suggestions for lunch and dinner are found on the daily RideGuide. Details on local bike shops are included should you require assistance. Luggage transfer is included on point-to-point itineraries. A detailed pre-trip planning packet is included with your confirmation materials.
What’s not included?
Anything not specifically mentioned above. There is no on-road assistance provided so you should be comfortable with maps and written directions along with minor bicycle repairs. In the event of major problems (accident, injury, illness, etc.) you’ll need to contact your next night’s destination via telephone and request assistance. No meals (other than breakfast) are included. No transportation, unless specifically indicated in the trip itinerary is included.
Are any additional services available?
CycleItalia can arrange (at extra cost) bike rental, car/van rental as well as private transportation to/from the tour departure point if not included in the package description. Additional hotel lodgings before/after your cycling adventure can also be arranged.
Are these the same routes and hotels used on your guided tours?
In most cases these routes are the same as enjoyed by hundreds of clients on our guided tours though the itinerary may have been modified to make a self-guided adventure possible without lengthy vehicle transfers. In many cases the lodgings are those that we use or have used in the past for our guided tours. We have an excellent long-term working relationship with these hotels and restaurants and are confident you’ll be treated as a “friend of friends” in every way when you visit them.
When are these vacations available?
April through October, depending on hotel availability. We discourage cycling in Italy during July and August — the temperatures are uncomfortably warm. Spring can be wonderful if you don’t mind a bit of rain now and then and fall can be enjoyable too — though the days get short in October.
Can shorter or longer itineraries be arranged?
Taste of Piedmont can easily be extended since it’s a fixed-base itinerary — though this does require advance scheduling. Taste of Tuscany can only be extended with additional lodging at the HQ hotel. If for any reason you fail to arrive on the scheduled date at any hotel you will be considered a “no-show”. There is no discount for shortening your stay for any reason and no credit can be given for any unused services without prior authorization.
To reserve a CycleItalia self-guided tour package complete and sign the self-guided reservation form and include a check/money order for $295 per person in your group. In addition we require a signed credit card authorization no matter what form of payment you choose — same as if you were renting a car. Once your package has been confirmed there is NO refund of deposits for any reason unless we can fill your space(s). Final payments for self-guided tours are due 45 days in advance of the first day of your tour.
If you must cancel your trip for any reason after final payment has been received a full refund (less the original deposit amount of $500 per person) will be made if CycleItalia is notified in writing no later than 30 days before the start of your trip. There is NO refund of any kind if you cancel your trip less than 30 days before the scheduled start. We may be able to reschedule your vacation to another date during the same season upon request, depending on availability. In this case a $250 per person change fee will apply. Travel insurance coverage is highly recommended. Final confirmation packets including hotel lists, RideGuides and master maps will be mailed to you approximately 30 days before departure.
Post your question on CycleItalia’s Facebook page.