Girolibero Cycling Holidays: Enriching Travel through Pedals

Travelling is what makes the human more self-aware, confident, and introduces them to the diversity of nature. Exploring the beauty of nature is one of the splendid experiences one can ever gain. But, the degree of the adventure of one’s traveling depends upon the ride one chooses. Ever imagined, how mesmerizing it is to pedal across the specular views and feel the elegance of nature! Through bicycle, people can witness their journey trail more intimately that they might miss in the car. An Italian tour operator company, Girolibero Cycling Holidays, is enriching travel experiences of its customers by providing cycling tours. The company, supervises, organizes, and provides assistance in holiday tours with the tasty food and comfortable lodging.

In an interview with Insights Success, the Founder and CEO of Girolibero, Pierpaolo Romio shares key insights over his organization’s journey and its specialized services.

Below are the highlights of the interview conducted between Pierpaolo Romio and Insights Success:

Give a brief overview of the company, its uniqueness, and its vision. 

We simply believe that cycling makes for a great holiday, and that a rewarding break requires a thirst for discovery, a pinch of initiative and the right dose of comfort. Bikes let you travel at an easy pace, whether along cycling tracks or quiet roads, keeping you in touch with nature and allowing you to appreciate the people you come across as you cycle through the villages, and appreciate their way of life.

A holiday on the move, with everything organized: hotels, luggage transfer from hotel to hotel and support – 7 days a week. Plus: cycling guides and ample background information if you choose to pedal independently, and even the option of an expert tour leader to guide you all the way.

Kindly describe the contemporary travel experience solutions offered by Girolibero. 

Cycling holidays in Italy, France and beyond, with itineraries for all, from beginners to experienced cyclists. Self-guided and guided tours, with overnight stays in selected hotels or in comfortable barges (for the Bike+Barge formula, with overnights in river barges accommodating 20 guests).

For our tours we:

  • Handpick hotels
  • Design your tour each step of the way
  • Provide multilingual tour info and assistance
  • Select and train our own tour leaders
  • Create tailor-made guidebooks, the Girolibero Greens series – detailed, illustrated and designed specifically for our cycling itineraries
  • Coordinate all logistics from our headquarters in Vicenza – Italy
  • Assemble and service your bike in our workshop, down to the last bolt

Describe the experiences, achievements or lessons learned that have shaped the journey of the company. 

We have been running cycling tours since 1998. Our first step was purchasing 24 bikes and 24 locks. Next came a trailer on loan from a theatre group, with which we toured Austria, Holland and Germany. After 4 years, our first bikes were sold off to a rental company in Berlin; by then, hopelessly hooked on Europe’s bikeways, we decided to go for it and invest in new ones – bright orange this time, in honor of Holland, the homeland of cycling.

Now our bikes are 2,500 and our numbers in detail are: 15 mln turn over in 2018

20,000 cyclists from every part of the world

40 people + over 100 seasonal staff working in synergy to offer the best possible holiday experience

4 river barges directly owned by Girolibero (2 barges in Italy + 2 in southern France)

2,000 touring bikes

500 e-bikes

What are the challenges faced while providing an enriching travel experience solutions and how is Girolibero serving to tackle them?

Despite Northern Europe’s long distance cycle paths, Italy hasn’t a wide net of long cycling itineraries. For this reason Girolibero studies and scouts in advance all the routes, privileging cycle paths and off-the-beaten tracks itineraries. Girolibero self publishes Maps/Roadbooks/Travel Guides: the collection is entitled Girolibero GREENS Guides, and a copy is always included in the package.

We have been running Bike and Barge tours since 1998, offering the classic Netherlands. Ten years later we shipped the “Bike +Barge” formula over to Italy (there were no suitable barges here), bringing here the Vita Pugna. In 2011 we launched the eco-friendly vessel Ave Maria. Since 2017 we also own L’Estello and Caprice, two romantic barges in Provence-Camargue. We aim to build new barges and offer more and more “Bike+Barge” tours in Europe.

How according to you could be the potential evolution of the travel and tourism industry, and how does Girolibero envision sustaining its competency? 

Cycling tours are becoming more and more popular: e-bikes opened this travel-trend also to seniors and people that doesn’t feel fit enough.

Another popular trend is the “bespoke” Cycling holiday with an ex pro-racer as tour leader: Girolibero has Andrea Ferrigato, who cycled many Giro d’Italia and Tour de France, and plans itineraries along the most exiting roads in Italy and France: Dolomites, Tuscany, Barolo hills in Piedmont, Mont-Ventoux in Provence… Every stage is accompanied by a selection of high-level hotels, excellent meals, wine and local food tastings, high-end roadbike rental, support van.

Testimonial from Girolibero’s Clients 

“The route taken by the ’Ave Maria’ exceeded our expectations, massively. So, too did the daily cycle rides, and the variety of places we so ably shown around. My wife and I are well travelled. NO holiday has been better resourced from every angle.” Richard, Scotland – Mantua to Venice Bike+Barge tour

About the Leader 

A born dreamer, Pierpaolo founded Girolibero/Zeppelin in 1998. His travel diaries cover over 500,000 km of hitchhiking adventures the length and breadth of Europe and the most unusual collection of bikes. His CV lists some unlikely occupations, from ice cream parlor fittings consultant to novelty jewelry and trinkets salesman. Pierpaolo is also known to have had a go at the 80-km Kennedy Mars march in Holland, after which he irreversibly converted to cycling holidays. When not at the company’s HQ in Vicenza, he’s most likely out at lunch with one of his staff – something he enjoys doing with each of them in turn.

To know more, visit www.girolibero.it

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