Frequently Asked Questions
How do I get to the hotel?
Is the transfer from and to the airport included?
A transfer is included in the “all-Inclusive” package from and to the airport in Verona. For all other packages and other airports there is a charge. Request a price based upon the number of people and the number of bike boxes in your group.
Can I ride the day I arrive?
Guided bike rides start every day between 08.00 and 10.00 am (depending on the season and the weather). If you arrive before this time and can be ready to ride, you’ll be able to take part in the day’s ride. If not, our reception desk can provide you with directions for a few simple routes you can ride on your own. However, if you are renting a bike from us, you’ll receive your bike after our guides return from their daily excursion, generally mid to late afternoon.
Can I ride the day I am checking out?
Sure. It may even be possible to hold your room open until the group ride returns-just ask us if the room is available. Otherwise, we have a shower and dressing room facility for you to use.
When I arrive, how will I receive all relevant information?
The initial information that you need about the hotel and your stay will be provided by our reception desk staff. In fact, they will provide you with a card with a QR Code and with your phone, you can pull up a Welcome Brochure that has all the information you need for your time at Garda Bike Hotel. If you need help with the QR code, just ask at the reception desk. Our bike managers and guides are available for questions as well.
If I take my own bike, is there someone who can help me assemble and disassemble it?
Most guests who bring their own bike are able to assemble it on their own, and we have tools in our bike room to help with that. However, if you think you need help putting your bike together, let us know in advance. We have a mechanic at the hotel several days per week, though their schedule is not fixed. We can make arrangements with our mechanic to assist you.
What food do you provide during the bike rides? Do I need to bring my own energy bars/snacks?
We provide you with small sandwiches that fit in a jersey pocket plus bananas and other snacks. There are usually several rest stops during the ride where you can also purchase beverages and snacks.
Is there something to eat at the end of the ride?
Lunch will be waiting for you upon your return, which is available until 5:00pm, featuring salads, pasta, fruit and dessert.
Where do I eat dinner?
Our restaurant is open nightly, except Sundays, from 7-9:30 pm. We offer an ala carte menu, including vegetarian and vegan options and we can accommodate food allergies and dietary restrictions. Dinner is relaxed and leisurely and a great way to dine after a long day in the saddle. Our dinner menu is always complimentary for cyclists. Have a quiet dinner with your family or celebrate with your new cycling friends…let us know your plans, and we’ll arrange the appropriate table. If you prefer, there are many restaurants within walking distance in the old city of Peschiera.
Are beverages included?
Bottled water is included at meals. We have a full bar menu, including many quality wines from local vineyards available for purchase.
What happens if I don’t have meals (Lunch or Dinner) at the restaurant?
For those that are interested in dining out and trying some local specialties, there are many restaurants within walking distance of the hotel in the old town section of Peschiera del Garda. There is no refund for meals (Lunch or Dinner) not consumed at the hotel.
What do I need to bring to ride?
You should pack your cycling shoes, pedals and helmet. In case your luggage is lost or delayed, we can provide you with these items temporarily. Our rental bikes come with saddles, but you are welcome to bring your own if you choose.
If I don’t ride every day, do I pay for the bike rental even when I’m not using it?
The bike rental starts when you receive the bike for your first day of riding and ends when you return it after your last ride. The bike rental rate applies for this entire period whether you choose to ride or not, as the bike is at your disposal.
What happens if the bike is damaged while it is assigned to me?
Once you receive your rental bike, it becomes your responsibility. You are renting top-of-the-line bikes (2022 Pinarello F, Pinarello Grevil, Pinarello Nytro), many with Di2 electronic shifting valued between 7.000 and 14.000 €, and you agree you are receiving it in like new condition, in working order with no scratches or dents.
You will be liable for any damage caused, even unintentionally. However, Garda Bike Hotel provides ‘Complete Peace of Mind’ bike insurance coverage. We have put this coverage in place so that you can relax and enjoy your time riding with us. This insurance, already included in the price of the bike rental, will cover you for accidental damage only. You will just be responsible for a € 500,00 deductible for Pinarello Grevil & Pinarello Nytro and € 999,00 for Pinarello F. Damage estimates will be provided by the original supplier (either the bike shop or the Pinarello factory).
Can I take the rental bike out for a ride, on my own?
No, sorry. For insurance reason, you cannot take your rental bike for a ride, alone, without our guides.
Can I bring my own bike?
You are more than welcome to bring your own bike. You are responsible for assembling your bike upon arrival and disassembling it upon departure as well as all shipping arrangements needed to get your bike to and from the trip. You will store your bike in our lock biked room, which also has video surveillance security.
Important information if you are bringing your own bike:
- We strongly recommend that you do not bring a bike with carbon wheels. We have long descents and constant braking has been known to heat the rims and cause blow-outs. Our roads are not closed to traffic, and even the most experienced cyclists need to maintain control on the descents, brake frequently and avoid traffic. From experience, we know that carbon rims are not the right equipment for our routes.
- We strongly encourage you to come with a 12/32 cassette. We do a lot of climbing with some steeper grades and have found that guests will enjoy the rides better with a larger cassette.
- Install new tubes and tires on your bike before you arrive. Because we ride as a group, we all have to stop when someone has a mechanical incident, so we encourage everyone to bring their bike in the best condition possible to avoid these types of delays that affect the entire group.
- Similarly, we strongly recommend that your personal bike be thoroughly checked out and tuned up by a mechanic before you arrive. We maintain our rental bikes on a regular basis from a professional mechanic and we ask that you do the same with the bike you bring to ride. For everyone’s safety and enjoyment of their holiday, we try to keep mechanical incidents to a minimum, done best with preventative maintenance.
Can I rent a bike from a local bike shop?
For insurance reasons you can participate in our guided tours only with our Pinarello bikes, or with your own bike.
If I like the bike I rent, can I buy it?
Of course! Some bike models are for sale immediately and others at the end of the season. Talk with Nicola about the details.
TOUR AND WEEKLY PROGRAM
Can I ride with you if I’m a beginner or a total novice cyclist?
How should I prepare for riding in Italy?
We have different levels of guided tours each day, so we do our best to offer you a ride that is similar to the level that you ride at home. However, we think that you will get maximum joy out of riding here if you come prepared before arriving. While we have varied terrain in our area, we also have lots of hills. There is no one way to prepare to ride in Italy, but we suggest that you have some base miles and to the extent available in your area, ride some hills!
Are there any traffic rules that a cyclist should know when riding on Italian roads?
Depending upon where you are used to riding we may have some different traffic rules, and perhaps a different riding style as well. For instance, many of our roads make use of roundabouts to keep traffic flowing, and cyclists must remain in the flow of traffic with cars in a roundabout.
We also ride on some narrow roads, so it is important to keep to the right, and be aware. Our guides know the proper and safe way to ride on our roads, so you should follow their lead. Before the ride, they will review hand signals and any things about the route that you should know. In Italy, cyclists are common on the roads, and cars are used to sharing the road with cyclists, but also expect cyclists to ride responsibly and with the flow of traffic. Always pay attention, follow your guide’s lead, and use caution as you would on any public road.
From 2021 the front and back lights on the bike have become compulsory.
Can I ride SOLO without a guide?
Yes, we do offer a package for riders who want to ride without a guide.
However, consider that one of the things that makes Garda Bike hotel one of the best bike hotels in Italy is our guided tours. People from all over the world enjoy the experience and time with our guides. We highly recommend our special guided tours to all cycling guests because we think that if you ride unguided you may miss 80% of the beauty that the area around Lake Garda has to offer.
If you are not familiar with our cycling area you may unknowingly encounter:
- very busy roads;
- potentially dangerous main roads;
- secondary roads in a poor state of repair;
- very steep, challenging climbs;
- some very dangerous descents;
- find yourself lost in the middle of nowhere;
- THE HOTEL DOES NOT PROVIDE GUEST AND BIKE PICK-UP SERVICE.
If you cannot ride the bike back to the hotel, and don’t have other means of transportation, you will have to call a taxi.
If I have booked a SOLO package can I join some of the daily guided Tours?
Guests who sign up for a SOLO package may be allowed to take part in our guided tours for an additional cost (starting from 50 euro per person), subject to availability depending upon the number of cycling guests on any given day. We limit the size of our ride for an exclusive experience and priority is given to guests with the all-inclusive package. Our bike manager will confirm the availability a few days in advance.
Do we have to provide a medical certificate for the tours?
No. A medical certificate is only required for people participating in a Granfondo.
Do you have 3 levels of tour every day?
During our peak cycling season (May, June, July, September) when we have many cycling guests, we offer 3 levels of rides. During quieter periods, we may offer 1 or 2 ride options, but will do our best to ensure that each cycling guest rides in an appropriate paced group. On any given day you may join a slower paced group, if you choose.
How many riders are in a group?
Groups are formed dependent upon the number of cycling guests and their fitness level, but usually not more than 10 per group.
How many guides are assigned to a group?
It depends upon the route and the riding level of the guests. Sometimes there are 2 guides even for a small group.
What is the Private package?
This is an exclusive package with a private guide who can design rides for you at your level and based upon how you want to spend your time riding. You may be a leisurely rider who wants to incorporate sightseeing or gourmet experiences into the ride, or you may be a very fast rider who does not want to make too many stops along the route as part of a group. You can tell us your style and we can design the trip for you.
What’s the “technical” difference between the “Private” package and the “All inclusive” package?
With the all-inclusive package you will ride in a group made up of other hotel guests from anywhere in the world. This is not a private ride. It’s important to select the right level group to join (we offer up to 3 levels) so that you are riding with people somewhat equal to your own ability. We try to keep the group together as much as possible during the ride. Your cycling holiday will be more enjoyable when you feel comfortable with the pace and handling skills (climbing, descending, merging with traffic, etc.) of the group you are with. There are usually 2-3 breaks during the ride,n and you’ll be back around mid-afternoon.
The Private package offers individuals the chance to ride at their selected pace, and duration. It is a great option for leisurely paced guests who find it difficult to keep up in the group rides, or for serious cyclists who like to ride long and hard, and may want to do more than the group ride. Private rides are great for small groups (max 4-5 people). The guide can tailor each day’s ride to your preferences for ride length, amount of climbing, etc. Because you are in a smaller, private group, you’ll have more flexibility to stop along the way for some sightseeing, picture taking, etc. or not stop at all if that is what you prefer.
During the rides, does a support van follow us?
A van will follow on the more difficult rides, more than 100 km and with significant climbing (ex. Monte Baldo, Tremosine). Private tours can request a support van as part of their customized package.
Is lunch included during the ride?
Usually not. On occasion we might do a special ride to a wine cellar or an alpine hut where we can have lunch, and you’ll know this in advance. However, we always provide sandwiches/bananas to take with you, and you’ll have one or two stops on the ride to buy food and beverages.
If my bike breaks down during the ride, how will I get back?
In case of a serious breakdown, we have a service to come and get you (there is a charge if it is your own bike, but free if the bike is one of our rentals). Your guide will arrange for you to be picked up.
Can I join your group rides any day of the week, or do I need to start riding with you on a specific day?
You can join the group rides any day of the week.
What is your weekly program like? What are the organized rides like?
Each day a different ride is planned. Some routes will take you over rolling hills, others will have you climbing a bit, and some days you will conquer the mountains in our area. One day we might take a ferry across the lake, another day you will ride through Verona, and another day you may stop at a wine cellar for a tour and tasting. Each day you ride will offer you different terrain, different sights, and a different experience. While we have a general plan for each day, we publish the actual route the night before, in order to give consideration to the weather, special events in the area, and to the needs of our cyclists.
What happens if it rains? Do I lose a day of riding?
The Bike Manager or the guides may decide to cancel or change a ride because of poor riding conditions caused by the weather. They will base their decision on safety concerns. If there is “light” rain, we may decide to ride, but will change the route to ride along our cycle path to either Borghetto (50km) or to Mantova (90km).
These are flatter rides, with low traffic and no real climbs or descents. Sometimes we postpone the ride until later in the day, if it appears that there will be improvement in the weather conditions. If this occurs, we will alter the scheduled route, and modify the length of the ride along with the amount of climbing that was planned. If the weather is bad and the forecast does not call for improvement later in the day, the guides or the bike manager will cancel the ride.
As an alternate activity, we can provide a transfer service with our van, to a destination selected by the bike manager, after consulting with the majority of cyclists. Departure and return times will be determined in advance and will be fixed. Public transportation is available for anyone that wants to depart late or leave early.
In the event that we have to cancel a ride, no refunds will be provided for the tour. However, we will provide a credit for the bike rental for the day of the cancelled ride.
Is there a lot of traffic in your area?
We have carefully planned our routes, which are meant to be ridden with a local guide. Our guides will take you on secondary and lesser known, lightly traveled roads to avoid traffic and busy areas. However, traffic may be encountered on our roads leading in and out of the hotel, on the way to our route. As you would at home, pay attention, use caution and follow all safety rules when riding on roads with traffic.
CLOTHING, WHAT TO BRING AND LAUNDRY
Do you rent cycling shoes & helmets?
For hygenic reasons, we don’t rent helmets & shoes; just in case of emergency we have some “used” shoes & helmets, but in limited selection and size.
Do you rent cycling computer?
We don’t rent cycling computers. Each guest should bring their own device (garmin, polar etc…) The bikes come with universal mounts.
What do I need to pack.
During our rides we will likely be riding in some higher elevations. It is a good idea to bring
- Arm warmers.
- Leg warmers.
- Rain jacket.
- Wind vest.
- Gloves (short finger or lightweight).
If you are going to the Stelvio or to the Dolomites as part of your trip, you should also bring
- Winter jacket.
- Winter gloves.
If your suitcase is already full, you can buy our official “Garda Bike Hotel” clothing when you get here 🙂
Is it possible to buy technical clothing from you?
Yes- we have everything you need! Our kit is made by Ale, and offers the finest technical material and fit, for both men and women.
How does the laundry service work?
Laundry service for your bike clothes is included for free. When you arrive, you will receive a laundry net; at the end of the bike ride, leave the net with your used bike clothes, by 7:00 pm, in the box in the reception area, and you will receive your clothes the following morning, clean and smelling fresh!
How can I do laundry for my regular (non-bike) clothing?
We have an internal laundry service for a fee or there are laundromats in the city.
What is your cancellation policy?
For cancellations made more than 31 days from the arrival date, deposits will not be refunded, but we will issue a voucher in the same amount, valid for 24 months, for a new stay at the Garda Bike Hotel. For cancellations not made by this cutoff date, the deposit will not be refunded, and no voucher for future use will be issued. We highly recommend that you purchase travel insurance.
What is the difference between the hotel (Enjoy Garda Hotel) and the apartments (Hatelier Garda Home)?
Our modern apartments are comparable in quality and style to our hotel rooms, but serve as small efficiency units, which include a small kitchen and living area, along with a bedroom and full bath. Each apartment also has a small outdoor patio. Apartment guests may use all the amenities of the hotel (restaurant, pool, jacuzzi, fitness room, etc) but the apartments are a short walk (150 meters or less than 1/10th of a mile) to the hotel. You just need to be a bit more organized when on a cycling holiday to take what you need down with you to save running back and forth!
If I plan to travel with a companion and my roommate has to cancel, what happens to my reservation?
In this case, we will modify your reservation, changing the room rate accordingly. If the cancellation is made more than 31 days from your arrival date, you can apply your roommate’s deposit to your reservation.
What about information, discounts and special rates for group and private trips?
The sky is the limit with our group and private trip options! Bring along your favorite people as you explore your favorite places by bike and leave all the planning to us so you can just sit back, relax and enjoy. Learn more about our group and private trip programs by contacting us via email.
Do I need travel protection?
We highly recommend that you purchase a travel protection plan to help protect you and your travel investment against the unexpected.
When is final payment due?
Depending on your package, the balance is due 7 or 15 days before the arrival.
How much should I tip my guides?
If you like, you can thank your guides by tipping! You can always tip your guides directly, at your discretion, based on their level of professionalism, guest care and service. However, if you prefer, you can leave an envelope at the reception desk, and your tip will be shared among the several people that worked hard to provide you with a great holiday.
What is the weather like on Lake Garda?
The Lake Garda Climate is lovely. Balmy and Mediterranean is how we would describe Lake Garda weather, with beautiful days, and with the north-south breeze gently blowing throughout the day, helping to keep you cool when it gets hot in mid-summer.
This wonderful Lake Garda climate is because the lake itself acts like a huge solar panel, and the mountains act as an insulator, keeping the heat in. Especially from May to October, the weather is generally warm and pleasant with lots of sun!
In July and August the temperatures can get very high.
Lake Garda weather in the wintertime is obviously a lot colder. However, the location of the lake up to and in between the mountains means that this area is shielded from the worst of the weather and is warmer than other surrounding areas.
Spring and Autumn can experience some spells of higher rainfall but are also pleasant and mild.
UNFORTUNATE ACCIDENTS AND INSURANCE
In case I fall from my bike or I get injured during a tour am I covered by insurance?
Insurance, reimbursement of medical expenses, luggage insurance… for more information: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1RtdC4lPDYN5kAdMJtDlxfW0bVAScV02e/view
If I do something wrong that causes an accident with another person, am I insured?
During your stay you will be covered by a Basic insurance already included in the package. You will be provided with insurance for any damages that you may cause to other people while riding your bike.
For NON-CYCLIST GUESTS
For NON-CYCLIST GUESTS there are many daily excursions by ferryboat, bus or train to the major attractions in the area including Verona, Venezia and Milano. You can find info here. (All these activities are not included in the price of the package)