We especially enjoyed the changing scenery, climate, culture and architecture as we traveled from Innsbruck to Lake Garda. This tour is extremely beautiful. The accommodations were consistently clean and comfortable, a very good value for the price of the tour. The breakfast buffets are nothing like what you get at motels in the United States. They are way, way nicer.
Most of the tour involved low stress biking along well maintained and predominately paved bike paths. Some was along quiet roads or narrow city streets. Twice we had to deal with heavy volume and no shoulder. Once was biking around 3 km uphill to our hotel in Imst, Austria (such a pleasure when we finally arrived), and once on approach to Auer in Italy. Also be aware that the bike paths are more heavily used in Austria and Italy. This is generally not a problem, but there are a number of "sport cyclists" who come up on you quickly and silently, so no automobile traffic does not mean that you don't have to pay attention. Also be aware that while much of the route is flat (or more accurately a gentle uphill or downhill as it follows a river), there are sections that are rolling or even hilly.
In addition, we encountered head winds around 80% of the time. Of course, in other weather conditions, it might have been a tail wind! But the wind does blow through these steep sided, canyon like valleys. Also be aware that it does rain quite a bit in the Austrian Alps, and can get hot as you proceed southward. For the most part, though, we had very nice weather.
The material provided by the local tour company was useful and included sightseeing information. We branched out a bit and did our own research. We found an amazing waterfall in Parcines (near Moreno) that was a bit off the beaten path and a few miles from the bike route.
The bicycles we rented were different from what I'm used to even though they are hybrids and I ride a hybrid for transportation. Much more upright, and I was unable to adjust the handlebar height or change the height of the seat without impacting the position of my legs, which was perfect. So it took a couple of days for my arms to get used to the (what was for me) unusual position. The seat was more comfortable than I feared it would be. I had no problem with that. The partner, EuroBikes, provides a high quality water proof panier and handlebar bag. Also lights (the rear ones had run out of batteries and didn't work well for me or at all for my husband, but the front lights were fine) and an odometer. You also get tools, a pump, and a spare tube. Your riding will be during the day, but I like to use lights when it rains.
The tour company was very prompt and accurate with transporting our luggage, so that was never a problem.
Our only real problem was with directions, and that was mainly due to a communication snafu. Most of the cyclists on this route are German speakers, so the lady that gave the orientation needed to speak to the different groups in different languages, which made it a bit awkward. My husband speaks a little German, but I didn't speak any before this tour. English was not her first language. We are used to more detailed cue sheets or route markings on pavement. The cue sheets are not at all detailed. However, the tour company affixes small stickers to poles at intersections, and this takes care of the problem. All the tour companies do this so you just have to look for your company's sticker. Although we were given an orientation and the material does show the symbol for the company, no one explained that they were tiny stickers on poles. I'm guessing the cyclists in Europe know this, but we didn't. We eventually met another group of cyclists from England and Scotland who explained this to us. After that, it was obvious. So if you take this tour, please be aware of these stickers. It will make life ever so much easier for you and you will not make the wrong turns and add the extra miles that we did. SHOW MORE
All in all, this was not a difficult tour. Most people with at least some cycling experience should be fine with it. But because there are some hills and head winds, do yourself a favor and do a little bit of training if you do not bicycle regularly.
But absolutely take this tour. All things considered (especially if you keep those stickers in mind), it was an incredible experience. I would not hesitate to recommend it to others. SHOW LESS