5 Moments of Cultural Discovery on VBT’s Warm Winter Vacations

Cultural immersion is one of the main tenets of a VBT vacation. While cycling through foreign country sides or walking along the cobbled roads of ancient cities provide a window into local life, our off-the-trail activities are how we walk through the door and shake hands with world. On each of our tours we organize enlightening moments of discovery during home hosted meals, guided tours with local experts, wine tastings, cooking classes or demonstrations with local artisans. To get an idea of some of these unique activities, we’ve compiled a list of top moments of discovery VBT’s Warm Winter vacations.

Listen to Live Flamenco Music
Offered on Spain: Under the Andalusian Sky
On one of our first nights with our group, we’ll all head to a local peña for dinner where we’ll be treated to a live Flamenco performance by local cantaores. Our authentic Spanish restaurant features Flamenco singers, a fireplace and tasty food like Jamón Ibérico—a regional cured ham cut in thin slices by expert hands.

A Guided Tour of a Coffee Plantation
Offered on Adventure Costa Rica
Enjoy a special tour of the Doka Estate Coffee Farm—Costa Rica’s biggest family-owned coffee plantation—located in Sabanilla de Alajuela, Costa Rica’s “Coffee Capital”. During our groups guided tour of the award-winning farm we’ll learn about the bean cultivation and the coffee-brewing tradition of chorrear , as well as taste some fresh-roasted coffee.

Visit the Cu Chi Tunnels of the Vietcong
Offered on Journey through Vietnam
chi tunnels
The Cu Chi Tunnels are a 75-mile-long underground maze that the Vietcong used to dig themselves out of harm’s way during the Vietnam War. Our group will meet a former member of the Vietcong—who will offer a different perspective on what they call the “American War”—who will show us the passageways and teach us about their history.

Forage and Cook Fresh Mussels
Offered on Walking New Zealand: Splendor of the South Island
In the town of Havelock we’ll board a private charter boat which takes us to our lodge on the Kenepuru Sound. As we cruise, our Captain will tell us all about a local delicacy, Greenshell Mussels. We’ll stop to gather some fresh mussels from the sea and later that evening we’ll dine on them while sampling some local award-winning Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.

A Private Walking Tour of Beaufort, SC
Offered on Charleston to Savannah: A Southern Reel​
We’ll discover Beaufort’s brilliant mix of antebellum mansions, live oaks, and 1950s storefronts with the help of a local expert to guide us. During our tour we’ll learn about local history, traditions, and why the town has lured so many moviemakers to its charming streets, including Forrest Gump and The Prince of Tides.

To learn more about how you can save up to $450 on select Warm Winter destinations please click here. If you would like to reserve a vacation or speak with one of our Tour Consultants, please call 800-245-3868, available Monday-Friday from 8:30am to 6:30pm EST or on Saturdays from 10:00am to 3:00pm EST.

5 Highlights of VBT’s Biking Tour of Death Valley National Park

Death Valley Scenic
Death Valley National Park is one of the most unique landscapes on earth where sprawling salt flats and sand dunes are set against backdrops of beautifully colored rock formations and 10,000+ foot mountains.  Some of the park’s features are so bizarre looking that they’ve been used as shooting locations for otherworldly TV shows and movies like the Twilight Zone, Star Wars, and Robinson Crusoe on Mars. But despite the morbid names given to many park destinations—Devil’s Golf Course, Badwater Basin, the Funeral Mountains, and of course Death Valley—it is a beautiful and mystical place for exploration by bicycle if you visit during the right time of year (which, don’t worry VBT does).  Don’t believe us? Check out our Top 5 Highlights of our Winter Sun: Cycling California’s Death Valley vacation.

Harmony Borax Works

We’ll immerse ourselves in local history during an interpretive walk of what remains of the Harmony Borax Works, where we’ll learn about the history of mining and transporting the borax deposits that were discovered here in 1881. Did you know that Dial’s borax detergent brand  “20 Mule Team” from the 1890’s was actually named for the famed twenty mule teams that hauled double wagons of borax from Death Valley to the closest railroad in Mojave, California?

Cycling from Dante’s View

Offering a stunning panoramic look at the Death Valley Basin from high above, travelers will have the option to bike or shuttle by van to the 5,476 foot viewpoint known as Dante’s View. However you choose to summit, the biggest perk of this ride is the scenic and thrilling continuous downhill—descending 5,500 feet over 23 miles—back to our hotel.

The Inn at Furnace Creek
Our accommodation for the tour is the elegant, mission-style Inn at Furnace Creek—a 20+ year recipient of the prestigious AAA 4-diamond award and akin to a lush oasis in the desert. During our stay, you may find yourself relaxing near the spring-fed pool, strolling through palm gardens, playing a round of golf or a game of tennis, or just enjoying  a refreshing drink from the Stargazers Deck.

Scotty’s Castle

This historic Spanish Colonial style villa located in Grapevine Canyon offers a window into the life and times of the Roaring ’20s and the Depression ’30s. It was and is an engineer’s dream home, a wealthy matron’s vacation home and the hideout and getaway of a Walter Scott—a mysterious con man known for scams involving nonexistent gold mines and this house that bears his name. We enjoy a 40-minute guided tour with a keeper of the house.

A Walk in Golden Canyon

We’ll hop off our bikes for an afternoon walk in picturesque Golden Canyon. The 2.5-mile trail winds through twisting narrows and colorful rock formations, and provides spectacular views of Manly Beacon and Red Cathedral.

These are just some of the highlights you’ll enjoy on our Winter Sun: Cycling California’s Death Valley vacation. If you would like to reserve a vacation—save $200 on the November 16th departure!—or speak with one of our Tour Consultants, please call 800-245-3868 or visit www.vbt.com. They are available Monday-Friday from 8:30am to 6:30pm EST and Saturdays from 10:00am to 3:00pm EST.

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