- A bit hit and miss for me, my first cycling holiday and I expected to stop and see the sights but it seemed to be more about getting from A to B.
Would have liked to see more of Passau maybe we could have on our arrival day if the transfer hadn't have been delayed. The group did the optional tour up to Mauthausen camp which was a real highlight and sobering moment especially as it chose to rain that day. Overall itinerary was a little disappointing, it mentioned loads of places but we just passed most of them by without an option to stop. I felt we could have been given an option of when we would set out in the morning and where we stopped along the way, wasn't a fan at stopping at coffee shops especially after only 30-40 minutes cycling at times. Route was very easy and mostly flat with only a couple of short inclines to get up to the path in places or on the diversion to Mauthausen, felt I could have gone much further or carried on for more days. Cycle path was great, well signposted and local drivers were very respectful of cyclists at crossings. As you're cycling from town to town you do go through a few bits of built up areas and industrial places but its nice once you get out of town, just wish you could stop in more places to explore.
Group was a good mix of ages and genders as well as solo travellers/couples, we got on well as well as supporting each other which we needed to as our guide Jan wasn't great at keeping the group together or managing differing abilities in the group, a few of us almost got lost a couple of times, it was only the signposts and my garmin gps that stop this from happening.
Bikes were pretty well maintained and we had no punctures on the trip, just a couple of bits that needed adjusting along the way.
Weather was good for all but a few showers on one day when we visited Mauthausen and it absolutely drenched us the next day cycling to Melk.
Accommodation generally met my expectations, the single room I booked was available in each stop which I liked and it was good to have our luggage waiting for us when we got there, Maciek managed our luggage effeciently . Would have been good to have aircon in some of the hotels as it was hot and I didn't really want the window open for mosquitos or noise reasons.
Breakfasts were generally above expectations, and meals in the evenings were good as well if a bit hit and miss in their organisation from our guide who hadn't really planned properly so some places he was thinking of going were closed for holidays.
I think if the itinerary was improved and with a local guide who speaks the language fluently and has the local knowledge to enrich your trip it would be worth doing again but without it was a bit of a miss. A few people on the trip had been with explore before and felt this trip was subpar and not representative of Explore, we'll see if they are right if I book again as I like the concept.
Published on: 15 October 2016