Part Paved Roads. Part Gravel Roads. 100% Unforgettable Experience.
Cycle on a mixture of surfaces to experience natural beauty and local secrets unconfined by the limitations of paved roads. If you are a traveler who embraces adventure, loves a clean room, warm shower, and a delicious meal - but aren't too concerned about the number of stars your hotel has, Explorer tours are for you.
What to Expect
Explorer bike tours take you off the pavement and let you travel even further off the beaten path throughout a region without having to break the budget. These bike tours generally have fewer included group meals and activities but just as many opportunities for cultural engagement.
- Routes on Explorer tours include gravel, dirt and paved asphalt roads so you need to be comfortable on and off pavement. No technical single-track routes, so no mountain biking experience is needed to join an Explorer tour. Our goal is to select the best route with the most fun ride!
- You're in it to experience a unique destination at the end of the day, not for the number of stars your hotel has.
- Explore simple pleasures and accommodations, stunning views with a group of like-minded adventurers.
- Enjoy remote areas that are sometimes only accessible by getting off of paved roads.
- Explorers know how to go with the flow, change a flat tire, and enjoy the roads less traveled as they often lead to some of the most incredible destinations and experiences.
All ExperiencePlus! tours have the three most important aspects of a guided bike tour as part of each experience:
- Superb tour leaders who are fun and multilingual, bi-cultural experts, and cycling enthusiasts. They're experienced to help you navigate confidently on and off the road. Every explorer tour will have two tour leaders. One tour leader will ride with the group while the other will drive the support van.
- High quality bikes that are appropriately selected for the terrain you are traveling through and are fit and prepared just for you.
- Thoughtfully designed itineraries and routes that maximize the cycling experience in each destination and that takes advantage of the freedom of traveling by bike.
All of our Explorer Tours include:
- Lodging: Lodging on Explorer tours may include anything from glamping in the middle of the forest to a city hotel, centrally located to all the attractions. We are aiming for comfortable 2 and 3-star hotels and bed and breakfasts with character. Most importantly, we’ll make sure you have a good breakfast that will energize you for the day and a comfortable bed with a private bathroom as often as possible. But, if we find a stunning destination and the only nearby accomidation is a hotel with shared bathrooms, we won't shy away from adding that to our itinerary.
- Meals: on an Explorer tours meals are meant to be delicious and energizing as well as an introduction to the local culture. We will always include breakfast and the first and last dinner. Lunch options will vary each day. If we are in urban areas we’ll recommend places to stop for lunch en route. If you are in a rural region we might suggest picnic supplies or a pack lunch from the hotel. There may be times when we eat as a group, but the meal will be considered “on your own” allowing you to select what you eat and how much you spend. Our tour leaders will always make sure to be around to suggest their favorite local specialties!
- Tour Design: Explorer tours are meant to explore a region so you’ll most often be traveling from hotel to hotel every night. Occasionally we stay in one hotel for a few nights to allow for extra night without packing up – but we keep a balance knowing sometimes travelers always want to see what is around the next corner.
- Bikes: Bikes on our explorer tours will generally be hybrids and in some destinations you’ll have the choice of a mountain bike with a front shock. We will not be on any technical singletrack routes, so no mountain biking experience needed, just being comfortable on a bike, on and off the pavement. Each bike will be outfitted with a GPS unit, for which you will get an orientation on the first day.
- Terrain: We will not be on any technical single track routes, so no mountain biking experience needed, just being comfortable on a bike, on and off the pavement. You'll be riding on a mix of gravel, dirt and paved asphalt roads. Our goal is to select the best route with the most fun ride!
- Navigation: One tour leader will be cycling with the group while another drives a support vehicle which will be as close to the group as the route permits. Those preferring to travel at their own pace will have a GPS device provided to you so you can follow the route and meet up with the group at select spots during the day or at the end of the ride. With our GPS tracks and GPS units you'll still have the independence and the added benefit of a portable map, wherever you ride.
- Van Support: Tours include van support that provides luggage transfers, water and snack resupply, mechanical assistance, and a lift for tired cyclists! Depending on the route, the van may not always follow the cyclists but it’ll make sure to check in at designated locations.
What's Not Included
- Transportation to and from the bicycling tour including airfare, or train travel
- Pre and post tour travel assistance. We will provide arrival and departure details and tips as well as first and last night hotel information if yo would like to book any extra nights on your own.
- Meals not listed in the itinerary
- Alcohol at group meals
- Tour Leader gratuity