Best Deals on Bike Tours in Germany and Other European Countries

Many of the articles written by longtime Gemütlichkeit/ contributor Jim Johnson have been researched from the seat of a bike. He believes its the best way to explore a country, get to know its people, and find a region's hidden treasures.

Drawing on his cycling experiences and contacts, Jim recently founded BikeTours to make it easier for travelers to find, plan, and book bike tours in Europe. The company provides a central resource and one-stop shop for European cycling tours. In addition to details on available tours, the site has helpful information on how to choose a tour and prepare for an upcoming trip.

As the name implies, BikeTours deals directly with the 30 European bike tour operators it represents, as well as with local and regional tourist offices. Jim says that Europe-based tour operators still have excellent prices despite the declining dollar. Tour operators based overseas offer many weekly and even daily departures, and many travelers tend to like the camaraderie of an international clientèle, something generally not available with U.S.-based tour companies.

On many routes, clients can choose between guided and self-guided tours. One-week, self-guided tours start at less than $550 and include lodging (usually in three-star hotels), luggage transfers, bike rentals, route planning, maps, and route descriptions. Guided tours with ride-along guide, support van, and dinner start at less than $750.

The BikeTours Website now features more than 200 tours in 31 European countries including dozens in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. Some routes cover familiar ground like the Salzburg Lakes Tour, Salzburg-Vienna, Bavarian Lakes, Lake Constance, the Romantic Road, and bike trails along the Danube, Mosel, and Rhine.

Many other routes introduce riders to less-traveled territory like the Mur Bike Trail in Austria's Styria, the Elbe Bike Path near Dresden, the Brandenburg tour near Berlin and Potsdam, and the Spree Bike Path near Poland. Custom programs are also available.

Visitors to the site use a simple search engine to specify destinations, dates, level of difficulty, and price range. Search results present tour summaries and thumbnail photographs. A click on a tour name reveals complete tour information, additional photos, and a link to an onsite reservation form.

BikeTours handles all bookings and payments and does not mark up tour operator prices.

Contact Jim at BikeTours at 1222 Tremont Street, Suite 100, Chattanooga, TN 37405, tel. 877-462-2423, fax: 802-419-3096, e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.