WILLISTON, VERMONT: There are dozens of ways to see the world. To immerse yourself into the fabric of a destination. Whatever your lifestyle, there’s a travel opportunity waiting just around the corner. Since 1971, adventurous travelers seeking something faster than walking and more immersive than motorcoach tours have been discovering VBT Bicycling Vacations.
VBT offers more than 50 deluxe, small-group bicycling, walking and waterways “bike & boat” vacations. Each trip includes all accommodations, most meals, two local bilingual trip leaders, unique facilitated cultural experiences and vehicle support.
VBT also includes round-trip international airfare from over 30 U.S. cities and select Canadian cities for all international vacations.
Rated among the “World’s Best Tour Operators” by Travel & Leisure for eight years, VBT offers unique itineraries at unsurpassed value throughout the world.
Six new VBT itineraries explore bucket-list destinations and hidden gems.
They take you to the coastlines of British Columbia and France, to the English countryside and the Baltics, through the heart of Europe on the Rhine, and to the Italian Riviera.
British Columbia: Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands:
Island-hop along Canada’s west coast by bicycle, ferry and sea kayak. Begin in Sidney, on the Saanich Peninsula, then explore art galleries, public sculptures, local cheeses and ales in Salt Spring and the Pender Islands. Keep a keen eye out for dolphins, sea lions, killer whales, and seals.
Pedal the Galloping Goose Trail from the Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal to Victoria, through fields of golden corn, parks and forests. Then ride along the coast with stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and the Olympic Mountains.
If wild Pacific salmon and Dungeness crab are to your liking, prepare for the feast of a lifetime.
Extend your stay in Victoria and be sure to visit the magnificent Butchart Gardens.
Departures May through October; prices begin at $3,745 per person, double occupancy including roundtrip flights.
France: Bordeaux to La Rochelle:
Discover France’s Atlantic coast while cycling through historical towns, including one of the “Most Beautiful Villages in France,” Talmont-sur-Gironde. Explore troglodyte caves carved into the limestone cliffs at Meschers-sur-Gironde.
In the Marennes-Oleron region, cyclists learn firsthand why the oysters of the area are considered some of the tastiest in the world.
The itinerary includes a visit to the well-preserved, fortified town of Brouage, birthplace of Samuel de Champlain. Savor the Belle Epoque villas of the seaside town Fouras-les-Bains and enjoy a walking tour of La Rochelle.
Departures April through October; prices begin at $4,395 per person, double occupancy including roundtrip flights.
England: Bath & the Cotswolds:
From Bourton-on-Water to Chipping Campden, the road less traveled wends its way through hedge-lined country lanes into handsome sandstone villages celebrated for their timeless charm and thatched-roof cottages.
Stroll the footpaths of Hidcote Gardens, one of England’s most influential Arts and Crafts gardens, and explore the medieval stone buildings of Burford. Then ride into 17th-century market towns and explore the architectural splendor of Bath’s Royal Crescent, where the concept for condominiums originated.
Not to be missed are the Roman baths, Pulteney Bridge and the Doll Museum. Pedal on to Blenheim Palace to tour the birthplace of Winston Churchill.
Departures May through October; prices begin at $5,495 per person, double occupancy including roundtrip flights.
Rhine Bike & River Cruise: Basel to Amsterdam:
Explore four countries – Switzerland, France, Germany and the Netherlands – on a single, all-inclusive European river cruise enhanced by scenic and easy cycling, guided tours and more. Cruise through the heart of Europe, viewing terraced vineyards, quaint riverside towns and lofty castles before disembarking to view them up close by bike.
Alsace is a popular wine region in France’s famous Route des Vins. Travelers also experience the emotional legend of the Lorelei while cruising the majestic Rhine Gorge in Germany.
Cruise past medieval cities and trace the route of ancient Romans and knights. Explore the historic cities of Strasbourg, Heidelberg, Koblenz and Cologne before discovering the delightful canals of Amsterdam.
Departures May through September; prices begin at $5,695 per person, double occupancy including roundtrip flights.
Lithuania & Latvia: The Baltics:
Experienced European travelers will find something new in Lithuania and Latvia. The rich history of these countries spans the time from the last ice age to pre-Christian Viking raids, from the days of tribute to the Kievan Rus’ of Yaroslav the Wise to the post-Soviet era.
Enjoy a private cruise to the Curonian Spit, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and view some of the world’s largest pieces of amber on a guided tour of Lithuania’s Amber Museum. Delve into Soviet history on a tour of the Cold War Museum, situated in a former underground missile site. Later, spin around Lake Plateliai in the Žemaitlia National Park, another UNESCO site.
VBT cyclists also sample local life with visits to an organic herb farm and an authentic Lithuanian barbecue.
Departures May through October; prices begin at $4,095 per person, double occupancy including roundtrip flights.
Italy: Piedmont, Langhe & the Riviera:
When it comes to good taste, Italians will always find something that tastes good. This is a ride into Italy’s renowned culinary culture, where cyclists traverse the sloping vineyards of Piedmont and the breathtaking coast of Liguria.
Sample Barolo, Arneis and Favorita wines and local cheese; learn to prepare authentic pesto from a culinary expert and go truffle hunting with a farmer and his trusty dog during a stay at an authentic agriturismo. Visit the internationally renowned University of Gastronomic Sciences and explore Taggia, one of the most beautiful villages of Liguria and its ancient Dominica convent.
Departures May through October, prices begin at $4,045 per person, double occupancy including roundtrip flights.
Why not let VBT take you for a ride? It’s all just part of the “cycles” of life, and great for the environment as well. Once you travel with VBT, the next thing you’ll want to do is “recycle.”
For more information about VBT Bicycling Vacations call 800-245-3868.
About the Author:
Bob Taylor is a veteran writer who has traveled throughout the world. Taylor is an award-winning television producer/reporter/anchor before focusing on writing about international events, people and cultures around the globe.
He is the founder of The Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com)
His goal is to visit 100 countries or more during his lifetime.
Editors Note: Support Bob’s GoFundMe to give him a hand up