The boom of ebikes has influenced a lot of fields, even tourism: offers of ebike holidays are growing by the day. There’s been a growing interest in cycling holidays in Europe and many people are interested in this kind of holiday. Not everyone is ready to ride for long distances on a bike. That’s where ebikes come in handy: they have the perfect balance between a low but still healthy physical effort and the assistance of the motor that lets the cyclist enjoy the ride even uphill.
There are different kinds of ebike holidays, just as there are many different kinds of regular cycling holidays. You can choose between easy rides that last half a day and long rides that use the most common routes in cycle tourism. Let’s see the different kinds of holidays in more depth.
Easy city tours to start with
The easiest way to visit a big city on an ebike is to rent one.
Nowadays it’s very easy to find ebike rentals that rent ebikes for short periods of time at a decent price. Some public administrations are putting in place ebike sharing projects that are available to both citizens and tourists. This can also be a fantastic way to try an ebike before buying one. Keep in mind that ebikes made available for these projects are usually on the cheap side and will for sure feel heavier and less maneuverable than an ebike you would buy to use on a daily basis: still, if you have never tried an ebike, you can get a sense of how the motor helps you.
Sometimes the rentals themselves organize guided tours on ebikes. This is an awesome idea and it works well to combine entertainment and culture. There are many initiatives like this popping up all over Europe these days.
“Star-shaped” ebike cycling holidays
When you level up you can think about a more challenging tour. These are sometimes called “star-shaped” tours because, when you look on a map at the miles that you travel, the tour takes the form of a star or a flower, with many petals branching out from a centre point. This kind of holiday is planned to have a base camp and every day you leave from there to discover new places. Every day you ride in a different direction, and you soon will be tracing a “star”, where the center is your base camp. We think that this is one of the easier cycling holidays models because you ride light without luggage, you don’t have to pack and unpack every day and you always come back to the same place. You know where it is and you don’t have to find a new hotel and get used to it every day.
Do it Yourself
You can think of going the DIY way and bring your own electric bike, or you can rent one when you get there. Make sure that the hotel where you’re planning to stay has a safe place to keep your ebike. Your accommodation should also be located in the middle of a network of cycl tracks or at least roads with virtually no car traffic. The Kitzbühel valley in Austria is a great example.
Remember that even if you’re riding an ebike, you will have to pedal anyway. If you’re not fit or trained to ride for a long period of time, plan shorter trips. For the first day plan a 30-40 km trip. At the end of the day decide if you can go on longer trips on the following days: listen to your body!
You can also decide to rely on a tour operator that organizes cycling holidays on electric bikes. Many packages include tours like the ones we talked about, with or without a guide. For the tours with a guide, you will cycle in groups and you will follow the directions of your guide. You won’t have to worry about where you’re going. The guide is also often able to tell you something about the history and the culture of the places you’ll visit. This kind of holiday is for you if you are comfortable with a large group of people and don’t mind compromises.
There’s a “middle way” holiday you can choose. It’s not a group holiday but you’re not completely on your own. The tour operator will book your hotel, rent your ebikes if you’re not bringing your own and it will plan your days. You will be able to visit places at your own pace, but you will be provided with everything you need, from maps to GPS and travel guides.
Travelling ebike tours
We’re talking about travelling on your ebike for real here. You start from one place and you get to another place which can be thousands of miles away, and you sleep every night in a different place. This is probably the most beautiful kind of ebike holiday, but it’s also the hardest to plan. If you decide to travel on an ebike you’ll also have to plan your trip carefully because you’ll need charging stations along the way.
It all depends on your itinerary: Germany and Central European countries are starting to build a lot of charging stations on the most covered routes like the cycle route between Berlin and Copenhagen. There are some routes where you can rent an ebike and replace your battery on the go without having to wait for the battery to recharge.
If you are riding outside of these routes you will have to plan your journey very carefully. You’ll have to plan to stop relatively often, and make a cautious use of your ebike motor: this way it will assist you until you get to your hotel. If you plan to stop in a restaurant or a café during the day, recharge your battery during your stay. Modern lithium batteries don’t suffer from partial charges, so take advantage of it.
If you want to go on a travelling tour you can seek the help of a tour operator, too. The options are similar to the other kind of tours: group holidays with a tourist guide or a free tour where you are provided with maps, travel guides and more, but then you pedal on your own. If you choose the latter you are also often offered a service where your luggage is taken to your next stopover so you can ride without the extra weight.
You have many options to choose from and we’re sure you’ll have more in the near future, next to more infrastructures for cycle tourism. Going for an ebike holiday is amazing because it’s flexible: you can choose to plan your trip by yourself or you can have a tour operator do it for you if you don’t have enough time on your hands.
What about you? Have you already experienced an ebike cycling holiday? Do you have any other tip? If you want to write about your experience and show your photos to other cyclists, contact us. You could publish your story on this blog!