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Explore Ireland with VBT

Cliffs of Moher
celtic cross-LEvery year, in the middle of March, many parts of the world turn their attention to Ireland—a gorgeous island nation full of history, culture, and amazing biking and walking routes. St. Patrick’s Day is a public holiday in Ireland, Northern Ireland and certain parts of Canada that occurs annually on March 17th—the death date of Ireland’s most famous Patron Saint—and celebrates the arrival of Christianity to Ireland. While religious ceremonies are an integral part of the holiday within Ireland, it has evolved into more of a cultural celebration by Irish diaspora around the world with parades, festivals, consumption of traditional Irish food and alcohol, green clothing and plentiful displays of shamrocks—Saint Patrick’s preferred symbol for the Holy trinity.  Although VBT doesn’t run tours to the Irish homeland during St Patrick’s Day, we have many departures on both our Irish biking and walking tours from May through September this year. So join us and discover the beauty, people and rich history of this amazing country.

Ireland: Galway & Connemara Coast ​Biking Tour
Traveler Rating: 4.9/5  | Difficulty Rating: Easy/Moderate
Ireland BikingImmerse yourself in the breathtaking landscapes, ancient roots and colorful people of Ireland one of the best ways—thatch roof lunch stop by bicycle—on this sweep of the country’s west coast. Highlights of this tour include a visit to the Burren (a rare place where arctic, Mediterranean and alpine plants thrive side by side), a stay at a family-run guesthouse in the Aran Islands, a walk along the spectacular Cliffs of Moher, learning about Irish culture from a local historian, attending live traditional Irish music performances, an authentic home-cooked meal, and chatting with locals at a lively pub. We’ll also spend 2 nights at one of Ireland’s best-loved small hotels—Sheedy’s Country House Hotel—and enjoy dinner prepared by the owner, John Sheedy, who is also considered one of Ireland’s finest chefs.

Ireland: Walking the West Country​ Tour
Traveler Rating: 4.9/5  | Difficulty Rating: Easy/Moderate
Ireland Beach Vista
Discover why Ireland has long been a favorite destination for outdoor enthusiasts as we walk through some of the Waterfall in Gleninchaquin ParkEmerald Isle’s most splendid scenery from the soaring peaks of Macgillycuddy’s Reeks to the sandy shores of Derrynane Bay. Along the way, we’ll stay in charming inns and guesthouses, and delight in the warmth and wit of the famously friendly locals we’ll mingle with in lively pubs and charming restaurants. Highlights of this tour include walking in the lush meadows and glittering lakes of Killarney National Park, exploring the Gap of Dunloe— a stunning glacial valley—on foot or via a horse-drawn jaunting cart, walking a stretch of the scenic Kerry Way, Ireland’s most famous walking trail, savoring tea and scones with a Killarney family in their home, and discovering picturesque Kinsale, the “Gourmet Capital of Ireland.”

GuinnessIf you would like to reserve a vacation or speak with one of our Tour Consultants, please call 800-245-3868. They are available Monday-Friday from 8:30am to 6:30pm EST and Saturdays from 10:00am to 3:00pm EST. To request a catalog or for more information on these tours please visit www.vbt.com

Discover Slovenia, Austria & Italy on One Magical Vacation with VBT

Biking Slovenia

VBT’s unique Slovenia, Austria & Italy biking vacation visits a triangle where Romance, Germanic and Slave Europe meet. Cultures extend across country borders and blend into one another in a diverse region like no other in Europe. There’s plenty to discover in this enchanting pocket that is full of emerald valleys and dense forests in between snow-capped peaks. With VBT you’ll visit inspiring alpine villages and meet charismatic locals and learn their traditions through cooking demonstrations, home-cooked meals, farm tours and wine tastings. To get your sense of wanderlust motivated, we’ve compiled a list of the top 3 places to visit in each of the three countries on this one-of-a-kind tour.

Slovenia
Ljubljana Castle–
Perched high above the old town, this medieval castle can trace its Lubljana Castlebeginnings back to 1200BC when the Celtics built a structure here. Today visitors are free to wander around the grounds free of charge but there is a small fee to climb the bell tower. Visit the castle on our optional Pre-trip extension during your 3 days in the Slovenian capitol.

Kranska Gjora
—This charming village located in the Julian Alps is a world-class ski resort that hosts the Vitranc Cup every year. In the summer you can marvel at the mountain views, as it is a peaceful retreat for nature lovers. Be sure to explore the village during your visit and perhaps find a quaint restaurant to enjoy a traditional Slovenian lunch.

Lake Bleg ChurchLake Bled—This storybook setting is one of the most pristine alpine lakes in Europe. In fact, Travel + Leisure named the town of Bled as one of Europe’s Most Beautiful Villages. During you visit you may opt to circumnavigate the lake by bike or perhaps hop on a small boat to visit Slovenia’s only natural island, home to the beautiful Pilgrimage Church of the Assumption of Mary. Or walk up the hill to Bled Castle, the oldest castle in Slovenia, which offers amazing views over the lake. 

Italy
The Canal Valley—In between the rugged peaks of the Carnic and Julian Alps lies this tunnel valley. In 1919, the Treaty of Saint-Germain formally annexed this area to Italy canal valleyfrom the Duchy of Carinthia. Today you may enjoy riding on its picturesque bike paths and enjoy many mountain vistas.

Tarvisio—This small commune is located in the aforementioned Canal Valley. Stroll through the town’s quaint shops or treat yourself to some delicious Italian gelato after your day’s ride. With VBT, you’ll stay at The Hotel Edelhof, a charming family-run inn set between the surrounding forests and the town center.

VenzoneVenzoneThis small commune in the Province of Udine was nearly demolished by a large earthquake in 1976. When reconstruction concluded in 1990 it was declared an Italian National Monument. The reconstruction efforts included the Cathedral of St. Andrea, home to the mysterious Chapel of St. Michele with its famous mummies dating back to 1647. Prior to burial, these bodies were perfectly preserved and recognizable decades later, leading some people to periodically retrieve the bodies and commune with their dead ancestors.

Austria
Worthersee lake
Wörthersee Lake
Cycle around Austria’s famed lake known for the distinctive blue-green color of the water and the amazing views of the surrounding peaks. Although it was historically inhabited by peasants, Austrian nobility started to vacation here as a summer retreat with the completion of the Südbahn railway.

Velden—Known as the little “Monte Carlo” of Carinthia, Velden is a town of elegant Falkensteiner Schlosshotel Veldenmansions, colorful gardens and refined lakeside restaurants. While on tour with VBT you’ll stay at the magnificent Falkensteiner Schlosshotel Velden, an ancient castle on the lake’s banks. Condé Nast Traveler has featured it as a “Hot Hotel” making it one of the most luxurious and innovative hotels and resorts in the world.

Mozart's BirthplaceSalzburg—Our tour concludes with a night in Salzburg, or you can stay longer if you opt for the Post-trip extension. The birthplace of Mozart, Salzburg has been a cultural center for centuries, offering a host of museums, concert venues, cathedrals and more to discover at your leisure.

For more information about the bike routes, accommodations and cultural highlights you’ll experience while on our Slovenia, Austria & Italy bikingtour, please visit our website. To request a full catalog with all of our vacations 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 and Saturdays from 10:00am-3:00pm EST.

 

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