Which type of holiday cycling is right for you?
A guided multi-day cycling tour
Exploring new countries or regions of your own country with an experienced guide with in-depth local knowledge can be a great option. Plus you’re free of responsibility for accommodation, luggage transfers, route navigation and so on. Look for small group tours that are interest-focussed rather than challenge-oriented, such as those organised by The Slow Cyclist in Romania and Greece, Explore worldwide (Choose from Easy, to Moderate rather than Challenging!), and Headwater. Guided cycle touring tends to be the most expensive kind of cycling trip, of course, especially if you choose a private or bespoke service rather than a group tour.
A semi-independent cycling holiday
If you like self-guided cycling at your own pace but don’t have time or confidence to plan everything yourself, this is for you. It’s a very popular option. Your holiday accommodation and your daily routes are organised and supported by a tour operator but you ride on your own / in your own party. Routes can be either multi-day long-distance tours or daily rides from a single base. The latter tend to be cheaper as they don’t involve daily luggage transfers. Browse the offerings of Cycling for Softies in the UK, France and Italy, and Headwater and Explore for their well-researched and supported self-guided UK and European cycling trips.
An independent Do-It-Yourself holiday
Whether a classic ‘cycling holiday’ or a ‘holiday with occasional cycling’, this means choosing and planning your own route(s) and organising the bikes yourself, as well as the travel and accommodation. It can be hugely rewarding and half the cost of a packaged cycling holiday. For information and helpful tips, see DIY Cycling Holidays – where and how and, for an alternative to hiring bikes or bringing your own, see the lists at Hotels and Holiday Rentals with Free Bikes.
Using local bike tours on holiday
For some occasional cycling while on holiday, an alternative to striking out on your own for a day in the saddle is a local guided bicycle tour (private or group). This can be a great way to explore a city or a region in the company of a knowledgeable guide. Enjoy the freedom from navigation responsibilities and bike hiring hassle too! Bicycle and ebike tours can often be found at local tourist offices. Or check out reviews and book ahead on Viator (Type bike + Scotland, for example in the search box.) or GetYourGuide. The photo shows one of GetYourGuide’s well-reviewed day-tours in Tuscany.