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Customer Reviews

Average Rating: Red-stars

Total number of reviews: 1,843

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Reviews for Cycling Spain - La Rioja 4.5 out of 5 based on 3 ratings.

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Tour notes

Each departure date has it's own dedicated tour note, detailing all you need to know about that tour. Whether you've already booked, or weighing up your options, please choose carefully the relevant itinerary for you.

We have the following different versions of the Cycling Spain - La Rioja tour available at present.

Please select a date:

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4 , 12/09/13

Name

Deborah Wilckens

Tour Code

CRR

What Was The Highlight Or Most Memorable Moment Of Your Tour

The sights of the Rioja vineyards as you were heading into Haro, sweeping beauty and majestic scenery all around.

Tour Leader Name

Wouter Novak

How Was Your Explore Tour Leader

Very helpful especially when needing to organise various things, with few of us speaking Spanish.

What Tips Would You Give To Someone Else Booking This Tour

Have a Spanish phrase book, which helps when trying to communicate and maps (since the ones Explore provide are useless).

Do You Have Anything Else To Add

Variety of scenery, different things to see and do - recommend arriving early so you have time in Bilbao.

 
5 , 12/09/13

Name

M R

Tour Code

CRR

What Was The Highlight Or Most Memorable Moment Of Your Tour

There were two -cycling downhill through the Demanda mountains for 26km on a beautiful morning and finishing our last day's cycling at the Marques de Riscal bodega where we drank lovely wine in the sun in the Frank Gehry designed hotel.

Tour Leader Name

Wouter Novak

How Was Your Explore Tour Leader

Excellent.

What Tips Would You Give To Someone Else Booking This Tour

Take a map with you. The ones provided were illegible and we were reliant on the guide's descriptions of where we were supposed to go which resulted in a few detours and having to ask for directions in broken Spanish. Also be prepared for eating late - in most places that we visited the restaurants did not open unitl 9pm which meant that it was fairly late before there was any food on the table.

Do You Have Anything Else To Add

This was a fantastic trip with really beautiful scenery along the way. The bikes provided were of very good quality and all of the cycling was either off road on purpose built cycle tracks or on very quiet country roads. We saw very little in the way of traffic (although the route planned for Day 7 did involve busy roads but was changed by the guide as he rightly thought that we would prefer a route through the vineyards in Rioja). The hotels were all of good quality and most had a bit of charm about them. Combined with good food and plenty of good wine there wasn't really much not too like!

 
4 , 06/09/13

Name

Kate Falloon

Tour Code

CRR

What Was The Highlight Or Most Memorable Moment Of Your Tour

Scenery - varied and interesting; wide open landscapes; Routes - excellent and varied; in the main very traffic free; Equipment - the bikes were very good; Cultural highlights - the number included was about right and the winery visits were great.

Tour Leader Name

Wouter Novak

How Was Your Explore Tour Leader

Good local knowledge and organisation; great interaction with the group.

What Tips Would You Give To Someone Else Booking This Tour

Make sure you have been on some longer rides (up to 20 miles) to ensure you are happy with the day distances and ensure some of these have hill climbs before joining the trip - some of the Rioja hills are long (but do-able)! The off-road sections are quite gravelly in places so confidence tackling these would be useful but not essential. Be aware that Spain eats late (not taking orders for dinner much before 9pm), and that you will be staying in off the beat places that may not always be able to offer a wide selection of alternative eating options (if any) and that includes catering for vegetarians/allergies etc - come prepared if necessary. Phone reception not always available in all places on the tour.

Do You Have Anything Else To Add

Comments for Explore: The main bone of contention were the maps provided on site - these were grossly inadequate (and bordering on negligent) where a group is left to cycle unguided for the first 3 days in areas with little phone reception and only 1 person who spoke some Spanish. The Via Verde has some signposts but is not fully signed all the way - there are points where the way ahead is really not clear and there were no notes or detailed mapping to work this out. Where there is a range of abilities the slower ones would get left behind in places and inevitably panicked. In addition, the road tyres on the bikes were not really suited to the off-road conditions; fortunately there was no rain but navigating the steeper sections on the VV would have been treacherous had it done so. I cycle frequently off and on-road so was fully able to cope but an Easy-Moderate rating will attract less experienced cyclists who may not enjoy what is a great trip if they feel their safety is compromised.

Our Response

 


Thank you for your review. I am sorry the maps used on tour were of such poor quality. Our Programme Manager for our cycling adventures is already in the middle of improving the maps.

We are pleased to read despite this, you had an enjoyable tour. Thank you for the cycling advice you have also provided our potential customers looking to go on this trip.

 

 
 
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