- What’s included in the price of the holiday?
- How do I book one of your holidays?
- Do we need our own Travel Insurance?
- What financial protection do you offer?
- How do we get there?
- If I need to cancel, what happens?
- Can I hire a bike instead of bringing my own?
- What support do you offer before departure and during the holiday?
- How fit do I need to be?
- What should I bring?
- How do you assign the sharing of rooms?
- How many people will be sharing the experience with us?
What’s included in the price of the holiday?
Please also see the individual holiday information for more detail.
Transfers from the airport - All Polka Dot Cycling holidays start when we meet you at the airport and transfer you to your first nights accommodation and end when we wish you a fond farewell having transported you to your return airport. Flights are not included in the price, (please see below details in the ‘How do I get there?’ section.
Accommodation – 7 nights accommodation, please see the individual holiday details as to the type and location of accommodation provided.
Meals - breakfasts and evening meals are included, most of these will be taken in the hotel but some will be out at lovely local restaurants.
Snacks – if you are cycling in the mountains you need to keep yourself well fuelled for the day and to help you recover for the next, so we provide snacks and drinks to keep you going.
Mechanical Assistance – we have a comprehensive tool kit with us at all time and can fix most problems relating to a bicycle! We also carry the most commonly needed spare parts (inner tubes, tyres, cables, wheels, extra sprockets etc). Please note we do make a charge for these items.
We have extensive knowledge of local bike shops as well, so if a more serious mechanical problem arises we will endeavour, but can’t promise, to try to get it fixed for you or sort out the hire of a bike if the problem cannot be fixed in time.
Advice – with our vast experience of riding in the mountains and knowledge of the areas, we offer advice on how to climb, gearing, pacing, nutrition, mental preparation etc on all our holidays. We want to make sure you get the absolute most out of your holiday in your own particular way.
Transportation – on some of our holidays we need to make transfers either between start points or out to the day’s climb and this is all included. Also if you just want to do a shorter distance on any day, we’ll make sure we get you to the next hotel. If you are on one of our holidays that go from place to place, we’ll also make sure all your luggage gets transferred to the next hotel.
Garmin downloads – we provide Garmin downloads for all the routes we cover during your holiday.
How do I book one of your holidays?
Please give us a call on 0345 548 0100,and we are more than happy to have a chat and give you knowledgeable advice about the holiday you have chosen.Or use the Book Now button at the top right and book online through our website.
Do we need our own Travel Insurance?
Before embarking on any of our holidays, we require everyone to have travel insurance including full medical cover that covers the participant for cycling. We partner with Cyclosure, who offer specialist travel insurance for cyclists suitable for our holidays.
- For more information or to get a quote go to www.cyclosure.co.uk
What financial protection do you offer?
We take your financial protection very seriously. In accordance with "The Package Travel, Package Tours Regulations 1992" all passengers booking with Polka Dot Cycling Ltd are fully insured for the initial deposit and subsequently the balance of all monies paid to us, including repatriation if required, arising from the cancellation or curtailment of your travel arrangements due to the insolvency of Polka Dot Cycling Ltd
A certificate detailing this cover will be given to each and every passenger as evidence of cover. Please ensure that you have been given the appropriate certificate at the time of booking (sent by post). This insurance has been arranged by Towergate Chapman Stevens through HCCI International Insurance Company PLC.
How do we get there?
The three main airports serving the Alps are Geneva, Lyon and Nice. Please check which airport(s) applies to your chosen holiday on the individual holiday page.
At the time of writing the following airlines have scheduled flights operating to/from the UK in the summer months.
Each airline has their own policy and pricing structure for carrying bikes. Please check this carefully before you book your flight and if you would like any advice on carrying bikes on planes, we have vast experience and will be happy to help you.
The high speed rail TGV network in France is exceptional and a very pleasurable way to travel. You can book a TGV train journey to Geneva, Lyon or Nice via the website www.raileurope.co.uk or www.voyages-sncf.com (in French). When travelling with a bike on French trains, we recommend you pack it into a bike bag. This saves you having to put it in the bike carriages of the train, where it could get damaged.
Some people prefer to travel out earlier or stay on afterwards and driving can be a great way to achieve this. We have personally done this on trips we have been on so have first hand experience of this. Please call us if you wish to drive and meet us and we will aim to help you with a secure place to leave your car and arrange the transfer accordingly.
If I need to cancel, what happens?
If you wish to cancel your holiday with us, this must be done in writing or by email to email@example.com. The date the cancellation letter is received is the date the cancellation will come into effect. The following cancellation charges will apply:
• 8 weeks (56 days) prior to departure - your £200 deposit will be held by Polka Dot Cycling Ltd
• 8-4 weeks (56-29 days) prior to departure – 50% of the total price paid or payable
• 4 weeks (28 days) or less – 100% of the total price paid or payable
If you are no longer able to travel and it is 8 weeks or more in advance of the departure date, you may be able to transfer your place to someone else if the holiday has the maximum number of people already booked on it. We will charge an administration fee of £30 per person for this.
Can I hire a bike instead of bringing my own?
We find that most guests prefer to ride their own bike as it is set-up perfectly for you and you know how it handles. However we also understand that some of our guests prefer not to have the hassle of packing and transporting a bike and therefore we have a limited number of mid sized bikes for hire and for small or large frames we have teamed up with some local hire shops. All these bikes are high spec road bikes of a similar standard to what most club cyclists would be seen out on a Sunday Club run in the summer. Please see our Bike Hire section for more information on the bikes available.
If you would like to hire a bike, please tick this option when you are booking and we will send you a form with your confirmatory email so that we can get your sizes etc.
What support do you offer before departure and during the holiday?
Prior to departure
Our ethos is to do everything we can to make sure that you get the most out of your holiday in the way you want to. We often find that many of our guests would like information on how to get prepared for a holiday like this, to make the most of their experience, so we offer free training advice, tailored to your individual needs and circumstances. We recommend that if you would like this advice, you talk to us at least 2 months before departure.
An information pack on what to expect and what to bring as well as the relevant Garmin downloads will be sent to you 1 month prior to departure. The Garmin files will also be available to download whilst on your holiday.
Whilst on Holiday with us
Picture this….you’ve been in the saddle going up a climb for an hour and half and your bottles are running low but you don’t know where the next water fountain or shop is, what you would do for someone to magically appear with a top up for your bottles and a snack to keep you going. This is what Polka Dot fully supported tours are all about. Just when you need us we appear or at the very least we are only 5 mins away! Full minibus support (inc drinks, snacks, mechanical assistance and luggage transportation) is part of the package on all our holidays whether you are riding for the whole day or just one climb. We’ll keep you pedalling!
How fit do I need to be?
Riding in the mountains is more of challenge than riding on flat roads, but you don’t need to be a super hero or professional to summit the Cols! The amount you choose to do each day is your decision and so we cater for a wide range of fitness levels.
We do however recommend that if you haven’t ridden in the mountains before, you contact us and get some advice on preparation. We want you to get the absolute most out of your holiday and some hints and tips in advance can make a significant difference to your enjoyment. We will also provide you with a Free training programme if you would find that useful.
RAID ALPINE – as a recognised randonée, this challenge is slightly different from our other holidays. To consider completing this and receiving the very impressive medal at the end, you will need to be a regular road cyclist or have undertaken a training programme to prepare yourself. If, however, you would like to join the holiday, then we can also accommodate those not wanting to complete the whole route, but want to enjoy some of the great climbs of the Tour. Please let us know if this is the case for you.
What should we bring?
We will send you a ‘What to bring’ information pack approx 1 month prior to the departure of your holiday so you will have the time to prepare. The one area you might want to consider straight away is the gearing for your bike. Most of our guests ride on a compact chain set, or triple in the mountains so they can keep the gears low enough to allow the legs to recover for the next day. It’s not essential though; Jeanette has ridden both the RAID ALPINE AND PYRENEAN on a 53-39 chain set with a 29 sprocket very comfortably. She does push big gears though! If you would like any advice on this please do give us a call.
How do you assign the sharing of rooms?
This only applies to the Mountain Challenges and Preparation Weeks. Prices for these holidays are based on 2 people sharing a twin room. We assign rooms based on gender and where possible age as well. If you would prefer to have a single room there is a separate charge per week for this. Please see the individual holiday details for the price of this and please tick the single occupancy box on the booking form for this.
How many people will be sharing the experience with us?
The maximum group size we operate is 20 people. All our holidays have 2 highly experienced and knowledgeable holiday guides to support you and to ensure you have a great Polka Dot experience. The minimum group size we operate is 6 people and in rare circumstances we may need to cancel a holiday due to this minimum requirement not being met. However we will give you 4 weeks notice and the offer to move to another of our holidays or a full refund.