Portuguese Lifestyle Resources – Cycling – Finding the Right Tourist Agency or the Right Tour Guide
Finding the Right Tourist Agency/Tour Guide for Yourself
One of the most important things to pay attention to when looking for a proper biking tour guide or agency is whether or not they offer group tours. The ability to have a bike tour with a group of others is very important and we highly recommend you take this approach. It is, however, also rather important that the tour groups provided by the guide or the agency are not too large. Traveling with too many other people can ruin the biking tour experience for you, so we advise that you check with your tour guide or agency about their minimum and maximum tour group capacities.
We recommend you avoid tour groups with more than twenty to thirty people, but keep in mind that others who have already undertaken these guided bike tour trips have reported that the maximum of sixteen people per tour group is preferred for the most pleasant and enjoyable biking tour experience.
Others have also reported that any larger biking tour groups would make you feel as if you were in a biking marathon. For these reasons, we recommend you choose a tour guide or an agency whose tour groups maximum capacities are around this number.
Keep in mind that the trip can last up to several days, so make sure to ask your tour guide or agency about the accommodation. Ask them whether the biking route they have set up for this tour goes by or through any towns, and what kind of lodging they are looking to provide for you and the rest of the group.
Keep in mind that this is a bike ride. It may be slow and relaxed due to the fact that it is a trip, not a race, but you will still be on it from the sunrise till the sunset, so expect to be exhausted by the end of a day and make sure that your tour agency or guide will provide you with accommodation that is appropriately comfortable and of high enough quality. On the same note, we also recommend that you ensure that you are in good enough of a shape before you undertake such trip.
Make sure to ask your tour agency or guide whether or not they supply the bikes to the tourists. This usually is the case, as the truly professional agencies and guides are well familiar with the terrain so they make sure to provide the bikes most suitable for it. It is still, however, worth checking before officially accepting the services of a particular agency or guide.
Some agencies, on the other hand, will allow you to take this biking trip across Portugal by yourself. In that case they will typically provide you with a GPS-equipped bike and allow you to cycle through the country at your own pace. In this case as well there are some questions we recommend you ask before you take any trips at all. The most important one is to establish whether you will be truly, completely on your own or whether there will be some sort of a backup. You may not feel like you need one, but when you are traveling through a part of the world that you are unfamiliar with, a backup can be invaluable, so do not knock it until you give it a thorough consideration. In case you opt for a backup service, typically a car would be sent to follow you from a distance to make sure nothing happens to you and, in case it does, it will be there to call for help.