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Exactly which parts of a Cycling for Softies holiday are...ahem…‘soft’?

Posted 01 Jan 2016

When we tell people what we're called we normally get one of two responses. It's either: “Ahhh, that sounds like my kind of holiday,' or 'Does that mean the cycling's not much of a challenge?'

Don't be fooled. While of course we do cycling trips where the pedalling is super easy we also have plenty of 'Softies' for whom a cycling holiday is more about puffing up mountains than pootling along canal towpaths. 

Our name has its roots in history. Back in 1981, when we first started, hardly anyone went cycling in France. Those that did tended to have a tent and sleeping bag balanced on top of their pannier. No-one was offering self-guided tours staying in hotels: we were in every sense the softer option.

Our business has developed with people's tastes but we've stayed true to our roots, offering a little bit extra than the norm.

These days our hotels in France are almost all 3* and 4* - many are châteaux, most have pools and gardens, some have spas. We look for independently-owned establishments with the warmest welcomes, comfiest rooms and prettiest surroundings.

We include a gourmet dinner every night, with Michelin-starred options in many regions. This saves you searching the streets for a decent  - or even open - restaurant, stops the hassle of having to plan what you want to do each night and means you have a much better idea of how much your holiday will really cost.

We have experienced reps in each region looking after you. They are a wealth of local information, keep the bikes in perfect condition and will be there if you need them throughout your stay.  

During the day all our cyclists are self-guided so you have the freedom to choose where to visit, what to eat, which route to take. You are also unencumbered: we transport your bags between hotels.

If you asked our holidaymakers what makes them Softies I suspect most will say it's the luxury of being able to make  phone call and have everything organised exactly how you want it.  We still offer a genuinely personal touch. Our brilliant staff have decades of experience between them and they plan every last detail to make sure each holiday runs like clockwork.

So, to answer our two most common questions – Yes, of course it's your kind of holiday and no matter what cycling challenge you're looking for we bet there's a bit of Softie in you too. 

Want to try our easy cycling options? We recommend the Mayenne for family-friendly, traffic free cycling and the Venise Verte for picturesque easy pedalling.

Want more of a challenge? Head up into the hills of the Burgundy & Beaujolais or the Rivers of the Tarn for spectacular scenery and a sense you've earned your supper.  We can also arrange bespoke tours including from region to region if you'd like a long-distance trip.

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