Travel planning

Although we strive to make sure all our hotels are comfortable (including having air conditioning available), air conditioning standards throughout Europe are often not the same as you will find in North America or other countries with more modern buildings. In many locations like Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Denmark or mountainous areas, air conditioning isn’t available because it traditionally hasn’t been needed. Statistically, the weather in Western Europe is milder than in North America, for example. Building styles, especially historic buildings, have not been equipped to add mechanical cooling as it is known in other regions of the world, and the cultural approach and expectations have developed accordingly.

Even in hotels that provide air conditioning it is not uncommon for hotels to limit its use. Meaning that they will only allow the thermostat to go to a preset limit – say 78F. Or the system is set to turn off at night or when rooms are unoccupied to save energy and resources. Sometimes, one AC unit serves several areas. This may be for cost reasons (electricity is very expensive), for system reasons (the system can only tolerate a certain amount of electrical use), or cultural reasons.

We plan our departures around the best cycling weather to avoid heat and inclement weather. In case of atypical heat in regions, we try our best to provide flexibility to avoid the heat. Our Tour Leaders have license to restructure planned days to avoid peak heat, and are trained to handle adverse conditions.

Culturally the difference between European and North American attitude regarding the use of air conditioning is huge. To get an idea of what this means, read the Washington Post’s article on the topic published a few years ago.