Self Led Cycling Holidays
Discover the Freedom...
All of Breton Bikes cycling holidays in France are self led and we don't carry luggage – that makes our holidays quite different to the majority on the market.
A self-led holiday means that you cycle unguided – you find your way using our comprehensive route notes and maps and you decide how you divide a day up. This is the single biggest advantage of being self-led. If you are on a guided tour then you are inevitably in a group, and that group will be made up of English speakers (a positive or negative depending on what you want) but which greatly reduced the 'French' experience. Being in a group means that your itinerary for the day is dictated by the leader and the group. Of course the group leader may well be extremely knowledgeable and have a series of 'sites' for you to see, but when and how you visit them will be up to him/her. So for example if you decide that you want to stop off for a coffee somewhere, or spend an hour exploring a village market, or conversely do not want to spend an hour at a village market, then you are stuck. Your itinerary and timing is the group's itinerary.
Of course if you want to have this sort of structure, to be in a group of English speakers (who you may or may not get on with) and to stay in places geared for groups like yours then that's fine and there are lots of excellent companies in France that will supply just that.
But we don't;-) With us you are free to plan your day exactly as you want – stop where you want, eat where and when you want in total independence. Because we offer so many trips it's quite likely that you won't see any of our other customers and so fulfill our company's aim of offering independent, self-led cycle tours as if you had organised it all yourself. This freedom is, for us, what cycletouring in France is all about.
Why no luggage transfer?
Almost all companies offering self-led trips in France also supply luggage transfer. This is of course a popular choice but we don't do it because just like having a guide it imposes certain constraints. To transfer luggage, especially on longer trips, is very expensive. Working on an average of 50€ a transfer that makes 400€ for an 8-day trip like ours. That only works economically if the company organises customers as much as possible into groups (or charges a fortune). Now because it's self-led you don't have to cycle together, but again you will be in a group in the evenings and this has a big affect on the 'French feel' of the holiday. You also miss out on the 'cleansing' experience of living for a week with what you carry with you!
For us and our customers the other advantage to not not transferring luggage apart from cost is that because we don't have to make up groups, we can offer a much wider range of cycling holidays and even produce custom routes for you.
I can't carry all that weight!
We expect you to carry your gear so we supply bikes designed specifically for that purpose. So that means very stable but very lightweight and with a wide range of gears. Our bikes cost around £1000 each – rather better than you'll find elsewhere and the result is that you'll find that if you pack sensibly the weight has very little effect on your progress. But most important, you retain a total feeling of independence that for us is the very essence of cycletouring – we want you to have the kind of holiday that we love ourselves – never feeling part of some organised tour (unless you need us...).
So if that sounds like the sort of holiday you want then get in touch...