Essential Travel Info

Essential Travel Info

There are many aspects to what Rapha Travel does, more than we can cover on our website. If you don’t see what you’re looking for here, please contact us.

What is included in the price?

To see a full breakdown of what is included on each trip type, please download this pdf.

What is not included?

Across all our trips, your flights to the start and from the finish are not included in the price displayed on our website.

Bike hire, which is available on our European and USA departures, is available and can be purchased here.

If you are bringing your own bicycle to ride on a Rapha Travel trip in a hard-case box, you will have to pay an additional charge, which you can do here.

If you choose to stay near your destination before or after the trip, that’s not included either, although our staff will be happy to suggest accommodation suiting a range of budgets.

Personal items you buy during trips are not covered, and although we will provide food and drink on the road, as well as at coffee stops, you may prefer to buy some of your own things.

Gratuities for your guides, mechanics and soigneurs are not included.

For some trip types, other things – for example, some meals or alcohol – are extra, and these are made clear on the trips pages.

How does payment work?

We ask all customers to pay a deposit (usually £500/$800/€650) when they book, which confirms their reservation.

The balance is due 60 days before departure – we’ll get in touch to remind you when it’s time. If you book less than 60 days before departure, we’ll usually ask you to pay the full trip price upfront.

How do I choose the package for me?

We have packages to suit all kinds of riders, with trips of varying degrees of difficulty across the world from January to November.

They’re split into seven types.

Randonnée: our signature point-to-point adventures on legendary roads. Taste a region’s culture and experience great riding, camaraderie and service.

Raid: choose the road less travelled, explore new destinations and focus on the riding in this format that emphasises self-sufficiency.

Retreat: recharge and improve your fitness in luxurious comfort, based in a single location in classic destinations.

Ascent: conquer one of cycling’s most legendary climbs on a focused, weekend break.

Pro Team Camp: get in shape to hit your season’s goals, in style.

Cent Cols Challenge: 100 cols in 10 days, the ultimate cycling feat. Go beyond your limits with Cent Cols founder Phil Deeker, to places you never thought possible.

Bespoke: create your own custom trip for colleagues or friends, using Rapha’s unrivalled knowledge of the world’s best road riding, hotels and cycling destinations.

Our Trip Types page will give you more information on how difficult each type of trip is, and the range of destinations available.

Am I strong enough for the trip?

All our trips are physically demanding, but some are harder than others. Grandes Randonnées and Cent Cols Challenges are among the toughest, and Retreats are among the most relaxing.

Our guides, soigneurs and mechanics will support every rider to go beyond their usual level of riding.

Each individual trip is rated for difficulty, and each trip type page gives rough guidelines on who the trip is for, to help you decide if it’s right for you.

Rapha Randonnées are a real challenge, often climbing the same cols used in the biggest races in the world. But because they’re fully supported, they can be enjoyed by everyone from veteran riders with years of experience to relative newcomers who have put in the training and committed themselves to achieving something special. On a Grande Randonnée, expect longer days, more technical climbs and descents and terrain that is more mixed. Read more »

Raids suit more confident, athletic riders, or groups of friends who may already have done a multi-day trip and want to challenge themselves. They emphasise self-sufficiency and independent riding, often on challenging terrain. Read more »

Retreats suit all types of riders, except for those who want packed days and relentless riding. Although you will have the chance to do big days in the saddle and test yourself on amazing roads, your time can be as demanding or as gentle as you like: wine tastings, market trips, swimming and massages are examples of indulgences that are positively encouraged. You’ll return home fitter and happier, and recharged in mind and body. Read more »

Ascents showcase some of cycling’s most testing battlegrounds, which are feared even by elite athletes. However, because the trips are based in one location and are shorter in duration, Ascents are suitable for a wide range of riders, including those relatively new to road cycling who are willing to put in the training beforehand. Whether you want bragging rights over your friends, or to conquer one of the biggest names in the sport, you’ll return home with a major sense of achievement and a boost to your appreciation of cycling. Read more »

Pro Team Camps are for committed riders looking for proper, hard training miles, and particularly suit groups of clubmates or friends working towards similar goals, who can spur each other on to the next level. Read more »

Cent Cols Challenges are for the strongest and most experienced riders, because of the distances and the huge physical and psychological challenge involved. On most days riders should expect at least 8-10 hours in the saddle, and to be self-sufficient for long periods of time. The remoteness of the terrain also means that accommodation and food are less luxurious than Rapha’s other trips. However, Phil Deeker and the Rapha team of guides, mechanics and soigneurs take care of all logistics and everything riders need, letting you focus your mind, and legs, on the cols. It is usual that some riders don’t complete the parcours. But, thanks to the stunning settings and the camaraderie, and possibly to reserves they didn’t know they had, riders often find they rise to the demands of the trip and take their riding to a new level. Read more »

If you have any more questions, please get in touch.

What kind of assistance can riders expect on the road?

When you’re riding you’ll always have at least one ride guide on the road with the group (on Randonnées and Retreats there will be high guide-to-guest ratios, while on Raids, for example, there will be fewer guides).

There will also be a mechanic with a full tool kit and spare parts not far away – usually in a support car behind the group.

Your guides and mechanics will be able to help you out with ride food and drink, as well as local knowledge, first aid, a morale-boosting chat and – if necessary – a hand to push you up the hill if you’ve run out of energy.

They’ll do everything they can to keep you and your bike on the road but, if for any reason you can’t make it to the end, they’ll always make sure there’s a seat in a vehicle so you get safely home.

Your luggage is carried from one night’s stop to the next on all our point-to-point trips. All you have to do is ride.

Are there any off-the-bike activities?

At our Retreats we will often schedule local tours, visits, wine tastings or talks, depending on the location and the season.

On all but the toughest point-to-point trips – namely the Cent Cols Challenges and Grandes Randonnées – there will be time most days to relax before dinner at your evening’s destination, but that time is unstructured. Our accommodation is often in charming villages, and many of the hotels have swimming pools.

Can I bring a non-riding companion?

We welcome non-riding partners on our Retreats, but not on other trips.

What standard are the hotels?

Through all our point-to-point trips there will be a mix of hotels, from good three-star chalet- or farmhouse-style hotels to grand five-star hotels and chateaux. Because we go to remote areas the choice is sometimes limited, but we look to find the most charming, clean and friendly hotels on the routes, and fantastic restaurants specialising in hearty local cuisines and regional wine.

Can I rent a bike?

We have a fleet of top-specification hire bikes available for rent on our European departures. They cost £50 per day.

We ask that guests requiring a bike tell us as far as is possible in advance, so we can guarantee the right size is available, and also to send us your fit measurements, so our mechanics can set up the bike for you ready for the start of your trip.

If you’re renting a bike you need to remember to bring your helmet, pedals and saddle to your trip start.

Contact us for more details.

Can I make a group booking?

Yes – family members, colleagues or friends usually find that embarking on a group adventure makes it even more fun and rewarding. However, trip places are limited and allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Contact us to find out more »

Can Rapha help out with travel arrangements?

Yes – we can recommend airlines and the best flight times to get you to and from your selected trip, as well as hotels should you want to stay near the destination before or after your trip.

Can I make any trip private?

All the trips advertised on our website are open to the general public, though we encourage friends, family members and clubmates to come in groups – it makes the experience even more fun and rewarding.

If you want a private trip on your own dates, we will arrange one for you through our Bespoke service. This can be on an existing itinerary or to a route that you – or we – create. We usually need seven customers on bespoke trips. Find out more on our Bespoke page »

I want to organise a custom trip. Is this possible?

Absolutely. We have created dream trips for families, groups of friends, honeymooners, business associates and corporate clients.

Everything is possible, but every bespoke trip is unique, so it’s best we talk you through it from the earliest stage. Find out more and contact us through our Bespoke page »

Is my trip guaranteed?

Cancellations do occur, but we have one of the lowest cancellations rates in the industry.

If we do cancel your trip we will provide you with a £200 credit to use on another Rapha trip departing in the next two years. You will also be entitled to: (a) book any other available trip; or (b) receive a full refund of all money paid. However, we will not be liable for any flight or insurance costs you have incurred (this is why we recommend you delay booking flights and arranging insurance until your trip is confirmed).

We reserve the right to stop you from participating on your trip if you behave in an abusive and/or threatening manner, or engage in illegal activities.

What should I pack?

Once you’re confirmed on a trip, we will send you Travel Notes with specific advice taking account of the region and the season you’re riding in.

However, on every trip you will need:
– a road bike (hire bikes are available for European trips)
– cycling kit for all conditions
– a helmet
– your shoes and pedals
– travel insurance

Who will I be riding with?

Alongside your guides and Rapha Travel employees, you’ll be riding with like-minded Rapha customers from around the world. Enthusiasm for cycling and camaraderie are guaranteed. Every so often we arrange for a celebrity guest to join a trip, too.

Please note: you must be at least 18 years old to come on a Rapha Travel trip.