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What Makes A Softies Holiday?

Posted 19 Jun 2022

Back when Cycling for Softies was founded in 1981, anyone brave enough to go on a cycling holiday through France generally set off with a heavy canvas tent and sleeping bag precariously perched over their panniers. If it rained, all your clothes would just get soaked. So, by offering self-guided tours staying in hotels, we're definitely providing the softer option.

On a gourmet cycle tour with Cycling for Softies, expect gorgeous hotels, delicious food, and expert help always ready to be of assistance. The wine regions of Europe are perfect for exploring by bicycle, as you pass sunlit vineyards and ancient castles, arriving in bustling cities or charming villages. To find out what makes a Softies holiday, read on.

What's a Softie?

A Softie is someone who lives life for leisure. Our gourmet trips are specifically designed for food lovers and those who relish a gentle cycle before a luxurious wine tasting. Cycling at an easier pace on a trusty e-bike means there's more chance to soak up the views and enjoy yourself. At Cycling for Softies, we believe the journey should be just as enjoyable as the destination; experience gentle cycle lanes surrounded by gorgeous scenery from vineyards to castles.

Provence cycling

Gentle Rides

The name 'soft' doesn't necessarily mean the cycling is easier, but you can pick gentler routes and you can upgrade to an e-bike if you choose. This French route meanders along riverside cycle paths and empty roads, passing medieval churches and market towns. Another gentle French route is on our Leisurely Cycling in Champagne tour, featuring shade-dappled canals and peaceful cycle lanes. If you're looking for more of a challenge, cycle up the hills of Burgundy, where you can plan your route to drop in on some of the region's famous vineyards.

Beginner cycling holiday


The best bit about being a Softie is E-bikes. E-Bikes can be the difference between what feels like a leisurely cycle and an Olympic long-distance race. Some of the most fabulous wine regions are famously hilly, such as the gorgeous Tuscany. This means an E-bike is the perfect tool to enjoy your holiday. Save up energy and then turn on turbo to power up that hill like a breeze. Easy to use as well as fun, we highly recommend using these to make the most out of your leisurely cycling holiday. We have many E-Bike tour options, as well as an upgrade option to your bike on most tours. We believe they give more confidence and freedom to those cyclists who may not be as confident in the saddle.

Access to E-Bikes is one of the benefits of a Cycling For Softies holiday.

Great Food

Cycling for Softies holidays are known for their gourmet credentials, pleasing even the most discerning of palates. On our Starry Nights in Provence tour, for example, you'll be treated to Michelin-starred meals, which combine cutting-edge presentation with fresh ingredients, often with a nod to Provençal gastronomic traditions – from salty olive tapenade to peppery puy lentils. For a Softie, restaurants are as close to sacred as anything. In Tuscany and Umbria, one of our favourite restaurants from any tour is La Loconda del Capitano. Run by a world-renowned chef, the food is breathtaking. You can experience this restaurant on our The Umbrian Experience tour.

Beginner cycling holiday

Expert Guides

Our experts are always on hand to help, which takes the stress out of organising your holiday. Between them, they have decades of experience planning and executing perfect holidays. They keep the bikes in tip-top condition for you, making those up and downhill stretches a blast, and are a goldmine of local information, from which views budding photographers must visit to the best local cafés and restaurants. Our holiday planners are more than happy to help and all speak English, so don't be shy about asking! The best part is that they’re only a telephone call away. Their extensive local knowledge and expertise can help you have the best cycling holiday possible.  

Beginners cycling holiday


Each holiday is up to you, and you can have as much or little input on planning as you wish. Pick an easier cycle route that will incorporate a spectacular romantic castle, or choose a trail into the Forest to really challenge yourself. At some destinations, you can also extend your stay to make the trip last just a little longer. And if you're looking for a truly unique holiday, we can tailor-make the trip by adapting an existing itinerary or designing your own from scratch, so you'll be starting your exceptional journey in no time. When choosing a self guided cycling holiday, you can actively influence your holiday on the go. As you're in charge of the navigation, this also means you're in charge of how long you wish to stay at a particular location. As such, you can create a truly unique cycling holiday.

Beginners cycling holiday

Handpicked Hotels

On a Softies holiday, expect the best handpicked hotels, from boutique bed & breakfasts to wonderous chalets. Relax in the knowledge that on a Softies holiday, your day of cycling will finish in comfort. With many of the hotels you’ll stay at, our destination guides personally know the families or owners running the establishments, meaning you’ll always receive a warm welcome. On our Sparkling Sussex tour for example, you’ll be treated like an old friend when staying at the charming Bailiffscourt. The relaxed settings of your hotels are perfect after an exciting day of cycling.

Handpicked Hotels is one of the benefits of a Cycling For Softies holiday.

Luggage-Free Cycling

On a Softies holiday, you never have to lug those bags around on your bicycle, as we take care of everything for you. Your luggage will be transferred to the next hotel, leaving you to enjoy your holiday without the constant loading and unloading. This also means you don’t have to worry about carrying the extra weight of any souvenirs or wines you decide to buy when on your trip. Feel freer and ride easier, as it's all taken care of for you.

Luggage-Free Cycling is one of the benefits of a Cycling For Softies holiday.

To start planning your cycling holiday click here

Other posts you may like:

Cycling Emilia Romagna
Best places to cycle in Europe
Tuscany cycle routes

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