AccommodationAll of the hotels and country houses used on our holidays are hand picked. They are places that we feel add to the experience and enjoyment of the cycling holiday.
From charming village hotels, to country houses situated deep in national parks, we feel that accommodation is an important part of any holiday; even more so on a cycling tour when you are changing hotels each day.
It is important that the hotel is in the ideal location, as you have limited time to explore the area, but also that it is very comfortable so that you immediately feel at home there.
The accommodation that we use is designed to give you a real feel for the culture and character of each individual region. As such, we generally favour smaller, boutique hotels and country houses that are unique in their design and setting.
Many factors are involved in choosing the accommodation on our cycling tours, below you can find some of the most important:
LocationThe location of the accommodation is important and varies by the type of tour. On our tours that include nights in larger cities (for example, Seville, Granada or Valencia), we use hotels that are in the heart of the historic centre, within comfortable walking distance of the main sights.
On our tours in coastal towns, we use hotels close to the beach and the main promenade, where most of the shops and restuarants are situated.
By contrast, the hotels that we use in national parks and rural areas are tranquil and are picked for their beautiful scenery and natural setting.
CharacterWe believe that a cycling tour is a unique kind of holiday that allows you to immerse yourself in the culture of a region much more than a typical holiday. You are almost at one with the nature, and are free to explore and discover places that most tourists will never see.
We want the accommodation to add to the cultural experience on the trip, rather than just being somewhere to sleep. Most of the accommodation we choose are small hotels and country cottages that are typical to each individual region. These can range from cortijos in Andalucia, villas in Valencia or casas rurales in the Basque Country.
Many of the hotels we use are situated in fine historic buildings; including castles, monasteries and converted palaces. These add an extra element to the holiday and provide a truly unique place to stay.
FacilitiesWe always look for hotels with good facilities for cyclists. Due to the nature of a cycling holiday these may be different to the kind of thing you would normally look for in a hotel on a business trip.
For example, a state of the art fitness centre is not so important after a day in the saddle; however, a big breakfast with lots of choice is very much wanted! Likewise, several of our hotels have spa facilites, allowing you to relax in comfort at the end of the day.
HotelsThe majority of our accommodation is in hotels. We prefer to use smaller, indpendent hotels rather than large chains where possible, as we feel they generally have a better atmosphere and character.
In some cities and coastal towns, however, we use larger hotels because the location and facilities makes them the best choice.
Star Rating SystemAll hotels in Spain follow the international system and are given a rating from one star (lowest level) up to five stars (the highest).
The start system gives a general guide to the facilites and standard of room in a hotel; however, we have found that it is only a guide, and is not entirely accurate. It tends to favour larger hotels that have a lot of facilities, but can be lacking in location, comfort and character.
In Spain there are many ** or *** hotels that we believe are a higher standard of accommodation than **** hotels. However, that said, there are also a lot of nice **** hotels which we also make use of on our tours.
If you see ** accommodation listed on our tour description, you can rest assured that it is not a large, plain hotel that are common in many coastal resorts. Rather, they are small, independent hotels full of character and atmosphere, and are usually just lacking a few non-essential facilities that would take them up to **** (for example, a swimming pool, multiple elevators or good parking facilities).
Casas Rurales & CortijosIn addition to hotels, we make extensive use of other types of accommodation typical to each region. These are typically very small (with less than eight rooms) family run establishments, and are situated in rural areas or small villages.
They do not follow the hotel star system, but are generally equivalent to a good *** / **** hotel in terms of their level of comfort, but with a lot more charm! These type of accommodation show the real Spain and is where the Spanish themselves tend to go while on holiday in their own country.
Below you can find a short description of the different types of accommodation we use:
Casas RuralesCasa Rural literally translates into english as 'country house'. However, while in english this tends to mean a kind of stately home, a casa rural is more like a cross between a country cottage and a small hotel.
They are usually located in small villages in the heart of the countryside in beautiful natural settings. Normally they will only have between four and six rooms, which are often furnished in a traditional way, but with a similar level of comfort to a good *** hotel and have en-suite bathrooms.
They are professionally run and have to be fully licensed by the Department of Tourism, so are well regulated. However, they are normally family owned and so have individual charm and character.
We only use casas rurales which we have personally stayed in several times and when we believe it offers the best accommodation in an area. We use them most often in our tours in the north of Spain (Basque Country / Camino de Santiago).
CortijosA cortijo is similar to a casa rural, but is found only in the south of Spain (Andalucia). These are traditionally agricultural estates that are set in rural areas (often in olive groves); however, they have been converted into high level accommodation.
They generally offer a level of comfort equivalent to a decent **** hotel. All have en-suite bathrooms and have extensive patios and garden areas which provide a great area to relax.
Cortijos are often in rural areas and can be a few kilometres from the nearest town; however, they have their own restaurants and usually prepare excellent local food at very reasonable prices.
VillasYou are probably already familiar with villas. However, the villas we use are a cross between a casa rural and a cortijo, rather than the suburban villas that you may often see advertised.
These are usually equivalent to a **** hotel in terms of comfort. We use them on our tours to Mallorca, Valencia, Tenerife and Murcia-Almeria, where they are surrounded by picturesque orchards, full of orange, almond and olive trees.
Mountain Chalets / GitesWe use chalets and gites in some of our tours in the mountains (Pyrenees, Picos de Europa, Somiedo Mountains). These are small and locally run, providing comfortable rooms in small towns and villages - many of them double up as ski chalets in the winter.
It is difficult to compare them to hotels because they vary greatly; however, they generally range from the equivalent of a good ** to a good **** hotel. The chalets that we use are run by very friendly owners and are often attached to a small cafe or restaurant.
They all have en-suite facilities and are generally a much higher standard of accommodation than the hotels in the same area. Unlike cortijos and villas, the chalets are generally situated in a small town, rather than in the middle of the countryside.
Please contact us if you have any questions about any of the accommodation that we use.
Accommodation OptionsOn some tours we offer two accommodation options to suit a different range of budgets.
It is important to state that the cheaper accommodation option is still of a high standard and is chosen based on all of the guidelines that we use in choosing the accommodation for our tours.
The more expensive option, however, is for cyclists that want something more luxurious. This can vary by tour but includes, for example, staying in a medieval castle or in a exclusive mansion in the heart of a vineyard.
Other tours only have one accommodation option. This is generally the case when we believe that the accommodation is both among the best in the area and represents good value.
On our guided tours we tend to only have one accommodation option (except in some larger cities) as it is more enjoyable when the whole group stays together.
Choosing Your Own AccommodationAll of our self-guided tours are customisable, so if you would like to stay in a higher level (***** hotels for example) or lower level (pensions) of accommodation, we would be happy to arrange this for you, and the cost of the holiday would be adjusted accordingly.
Similarly, if there is just one specifc hotel that you would like to stay in, we would be happy to organise this for you.