VBT Bicycling Vacations Debuts Six New Tours for 2020

STORY BY Debbie 23rd August 2019

From bucket-list destinations to the world’s hidden gems, new itineraries explore the coastlines of British Columbia and France, the English countryside, the Baltics, the scenic banks of the Rhine through the heart of Europe, the Italian Riviera, and many other exciting destinations.

British Columbia: Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands: Island-hop along Canada’s west coast by bicycle, ferry and sea kayak. Begin in Sidney, along the shores of the Salish Sea on the Saanich Peninsula, exploring art galleries, studios, public sculptures, local cheeses and ales in Salt Spring and Pender Islands while keeping an 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. Follow the coastline with gorgeous views of the Pacific Ocean and Olympic Mountains, and feast on a bounty of fresh, local produce and iconic Wild Pacific Salmon, Dungeness crab, Doukhobor borscht and Salt Spring Island Lamb. Extend your stay in Victoria, one of the most beautiful harbors in the world. 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 coastal pine forests, past oyster farms, and through historical towns. Visit one of the “Most Beautiful Villages in France,” Talmont-sur-Gironde, and explore troglodyte caves carved into limestone cliffs at Meschers-sur-Gironde. Swim Atlantic beaches and cycle portions of coastal bike route La Velodyssee. Learn firsthand why the oysters of the Marennes-Oleron region are considered some of the tastiest in the world. Visit the well-preserved, fortified town of Brouage, birthplace of Samuel de Champlain, and La Corderie Royale, l’Hermione, and Pont Transbordeur in Rochefort. Delight in the beaches and Belle Epoque villas of seaside town Fouras-les-Bains and enjoy a walking tour of La Rochelle. Extend your stay in Bordeaux or Paris. Departures April through October; prices begin at $4,395 per person, double occupancy including roundtrip flights.

England: Bath & the Cotswolds: Cycle hedge-lined country lanes into handsome sandstone villages celebrated for their timeless charm, from Bourton-on-Water to Chipping Campden. Stroll the footpaths of Hidcote Gardens, one of England’s most influential Arts and Crafts gardens, and explore the medieval stone buildings of Burford. Ride into 17th-century market towns and explore the architectural splendor of Bath. Pedal the gentle and bucolic vistas of the Windrush Valley and the ancient Roman route of Fosse Way. Cycle quiet country lanes and enjoy a privileged ride through the 2,000 magnificently landscaped acres surrounding Blenheim Palace, birthplace of Winston Churchill. Extend your stay in Henley on Thames or Cheltenham. Departures May through October; prices begin at $5,495 per person, double occupancy including roundtrip flights.

Rhine Bike & River Cruise: Basel to AmsterdamUnpack once, then 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, then disembark to view them up close by bike. Delve into the wine culture of Alsace while cycling France’s famous Route des Vins, learn the legend of the Lorelei while cruising the majestic Rhine Gorge, probe medieval cities and trace the route of ancient Romans and knights, cruise the charming canals of Amsterdam, and explore the historic cities of Strasbourg, Heidelberg, Koblenz and Cologne. Extend your stay in Zurich or The Hague. Departures May through September; prices begin at $5,695 per person, double occupancy including roundtrip flights.

Lithuania & Latvia: The Baltics: Roam through centuries of history, from pagan days to the post-Soviet era, while exploring the best of the Baltic countries cycling through Lithuania and Latvia. Enjoy a private cruise to the Curonian Spit, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. View some of the world’s largest pieces of amber on a guided tour of Lithuania’s Amber Museum. Delver into the region’s Soviet history on a tour of the Cold War Museum, situated in a former underground missile site. Spin around Lake Plateliai in the Žemaitlia National Park, a UNESCO site. Get a taste of local life, including a visit to an organic herb farm and an authentic Lithuanian barbecue. Extend your stay in Vilnius or Tallinn and Helsinki. Departures May through October; prices begin at $4,095 per person, double occupancy including roundtrip flights.

Italy: Piedmont, Langhe & the Riviera: Ride into Italy’s renowned culinary cultures during this invigorating and endlessly delicious biking vacation, traversing 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 birthplace of the Slow Food Organization at the internationally renowned University of Gastronomic Sciences and explore Taggia, one of the most beautiful villages of Liguria, and its ancient Dominica convent. Extend your stay in Turin or Nice. Departures May through October, prices begin at $4,045 per person, double occupancy including roundtrip flights.

For additional details and travel inspiration, visit www.vbt.com or call 1-800-245-3868.

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