Alsace Canals & Vineyards
The countryside and towns of Alsace are a great bicycling experience. The roads and trails are fairly flat and well marked. There is a bakery in every village!
Generally, we had excellent meals and accommodations. We had one hotel with a four star rating that was not air conditioned. We also had another hotel that did not offer any choices on the half-board menu.
We found our hybrid bicycles not quite up to climbing the few hills. We needed more low gears! Overall the turn-by-turn directions were adequate but sometimes confusing as our route did not always follow the posted bicycle travel signs.
We had a wonderful time enjoying the scenery and people along our tour and we will definitely come back to France for more.
Beautiful villages - beware of hills and train strikes
The tour operator is unusually cooperative about modifying the standard itinerary. I requested many changes to suit our interests and abilities and they fulfilled them all. We requested and received GPX tracks to load onto our own Garmin devices. The GPX and the map and the tour materials had been revised to reflect the changes I'd requested, which I appreciated very much.
Colmar is an exceptionally good place to center the trip. I recommend staying there several days and taking day trips by bicycle, or train plus bicycle, to nearby villages.
All of the hotels booked for us were high quality, and thoughtfully positioned for convenient access.
Segments of the trip are quite hilly: two chevrons on the map. We evaded the hills by planning alternate routes in the flat part of the valley. These routes presented a different view, still valuable and entertaining.
We had trouble with the SNCF train strike. Of course, that situation was beyond the tour operator's control, but it detracted from the experience.
One of the e-bikes was delivered with a bad battery. They replaced it the next day. That was okay for us, as I had an extra day planned for local sightseeing, so our overall schedule was not affected.
The villages are incredibly beautiful; the biking is either on lovely canal paths or quiet roads in the wine country; and the inns and restaurants are terrific. It is a well organized and well supported trip.
Responses from Biketours.com
Allen, thanks for your kind review. We're so glad to hear you had a great time on tour! We look forward to helping you in the future.
Early Fall Wine Country Tour
Beautiful countryside, quaint towns, idyllic bike paths along canals, vineyards forever. Lodging was excellent even on the lower priced end. Included breakfasts were excellent. Found that opportunities for lunch were nonexistent or limited so we learned to buy lunch food & wine first thing in the morning. Route finding was challenging at times as we were self guided. Local tour operator provided good orientation. 21 speed bikes were very heavy and awkward with handlebar pack.
Responses from Biketours.com
We're glad you had a great time on tour and great advice for future clients regarding lunch along the way! I love the handlebar bag but I understand it isn's for everyone as they can be bulky. We hope to help you plan a future tour.
One of our best bike tours ever
This bike tour was way more than we expected. Espace Randonnee gave us wonderful maps, directions, and bikes. I had an ebike for the first time and it was awesome. We rode down beautiful canal paths, and into picture book villages, laced with window boxes of geraniums. The accommodations were good to excellent, and we opted for the meal plan which we love because dinner was always arranged for you, and local specialties were served. The weather was perfect - all things considered, this was one of our top 2 bike tours ever!
Responses from Biketours.com
We're delighted to hear you had a great time in the Alsace region! We think slow travel is the best way to enjoy the local experiences. Thank you very much for your review and please let us know when you're ready to take another bike tour.
Fabulously beautiful towns and good routes
Bike Tours was excellent. Very helpful.
E bikes helped. Good bikes
Routes were varied and interesting with few busy roads.
Route maps were frustrating at times because some roads poorly marked.
Escape Rondonne's Thomas was poor for the introduction meeting- rushed and confusing; but the company did handle our bags well.
Beautiful Trip Needs Logistics Tweaks
The positive: The route after the first day is spectacular - beautiful canals, villages, vineyards. Accommodations mostly fine, but see the needs improvement section. We especially liked the hotel in Sermersheim - tiny town but lovely place to stay. Bikes were great.
Needs Improvement: The first day out of Strasbourg is mostly a wasted day. Even the person who gave us our orientation the first day said there is really nothing to see this first day. Coupled with the fact that it is a hellacious route to get out of Strasbourg - very complicated and not well explained by the guide or by the instructions given to us, I would have started the tour on day two (save for the accommodations that first night). Also, the instructions are not always accurate. Sometimes they said we could eat lunch in certain towns, but there were not places available, based on day of the week closures. It would be helpful to note towns where train stations are available in case someone is sick or injured.... I would not have people stay in Barr - there was absolutely nothing to do and most places to eat were closed.
Post card scenery
Self guided 5 day tour- very happy with "c" class accommodation. Views and overall ambience great. We were frustrated at times with directions and missing green indicators especially for detours into towns - ended up following what we thought was logical route but lack of green arrows caused us to get lost- sometimes came across a green arrow but it was wrong one and ended up on another route- had to back track. Selestat and Ingersheim particularly bad and finding Riquewihr also hard. When travelling on bike paths- magic. Overall we had great time.
Made me love cycling again.
Great trip. Hotel choices were quaint but only one had Air conditioning which was unfortunate after long sweaty ride in 35C heat. Would definitely revisit the accommodation choices next time especially in hot summer.
As advertised. This was a picture book trip if there ever was one. Towns, hotels and luggage delivery were perfectly arranged. Days1 & 2 & 5 were flat. Days 3 & 4 were a little more than level 2 hills, however, the gears on the bikes were good enough to get through the climbs. This is our 3rd trip through Biketours and their service is perfect. I would do this trip again. I would upgrade from B to A hotels next time but the B hotels were good enough for our short time in each.