“The best way to see the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria and Hungary is by bike and taking this fabulously guided tour. These countries are well versed in cycling and have bike paths that go for miles and miles and are in good condition. There is some cycling that happens on main roads but cars are very accommodating of cyclists. The most difficult terrain is in the first couple of days with a lot of undulating hills. For this it is best if you have some cycling experience. Strangely enough the terrain turns flat about half way through the trip which is good for a while but believe it or not as scenic as the countryside is, you'll find yourself wishing for the odd hill or two just for variety and believe me that's not something I thought I ever would have said.
Transfers on the bus are minimal compared to other trips which is good because the bus is small and we had an excellent driver so safety was never an issue.
The accommodation included a mix of hotels and pensions. You can expect twin beds which is noteworthy if travelling as a couple. This is the European way and in most cases the beds could be pushed together if you wanted. On only one occasion did we have beds with the springs being not far below the surface and in another there was no hot water which was disappointing after a long days cycle but on the whole they were very satisfactory and everything was well organised upon our arrival. They were also centrally located which was a bonus in the bigger cities.
The spread at breakfast was excellent at every stop. However, I should mention that if you're gluten free like myself, it is more of a challenge. I picked up some supplies in Prague and carried them with me. Also, the restaurants and cafes we stopped at also don't cater to gluten free and throw in vegetarian and it can get tricky. Our guide was really helpful in trying to ensure I at least got something at lunch and dinner. There are regular stops near shops to pick up supplies.
You will find the bikes themselves to be heavier than what you're used to but you soon adapt. They were safely locked away each night and spares are carried in case there are any problems along the way.
Our starts in the morning were at reasonable times which is great if like myself you're not a morning person. At the end of each day, the following days information would be shared.
There are plenty of breaks throughout the day starting with morning coffee, followed by lunch and an afternoon break on longer ride days. There were a few occasions were it would have been better to push on especially when it was pouring rain and you were soaked as stopping for a lengthy time only allowed you to get cold. My suggestion would be to poll the group and possibly do shorter stops especially when the weather is bad.
Our group spent almost the entire trip together including at night and free time. Dinners were often followed by nightcaps in the hotel bar. A great way to end the day!
It was extremely helpful in the bigger cities that our guide gave us an overview as it really helped us get our bearings for our free time. Our morning tours of some of the smaller towns were a great start to the day and the scenery was spectacular.”