One of the things we pride ourselves on here at VBT is incorporating cultural moments of discovery into our tours. The price of a VBT vacation includes airfare, use of VBT bikes, many meals, all accommodations and 2 local Trip Leaders to guide the way; but it also includes fun, authentic and enriching interactions with locals via home-hosted meals, guided tours, history lessons, and wine and olive oil tastings. To get an idea of some of these unique activities, we’ve compiled a list of top cultural highlights on some of VBT’s most popular tours.
A guided tour of Cesky Krumlov, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Offered on our Czech Republic, Germany & Austria biking vacation
During our 2 night stay in this medieval town on the banks of the Vltava River we’ll get to delve a little deeper than most visitors when we take a guided walking tour of the city’s historic center and learn about local life from our own private guide, Standa.
What our travelers say: “Our private tour of the castle at Cesky Krumlov was one of many highlights for me on this trip. Seeing the theatre from the 1700′s and the many painted stage sets, the wooden benches, and imagining the whole place lit with candles in that era, made quite an impression.” – VBT traveler from Virginia
Olive oil tasting and tour at a family-owned mill
Offered on our Tuscan Coast biking vacation
During our visit of the family-owned and operated Fonte di Foiano olive oil mill, we’ll meet the Di Gaetano family for a private tour of the press and workshop. During our tasting, Michael Di Gaetano will explain the differences among regions and how varied the flavors can be. Afterward, enjoy an included lunch—prepared by Michael himself, using organic and fragrant vegetables—on the farm grounds.
What our travelers say: “We had lunch at a wonderful olive farm. The owner and his two sons gave us a 15 minute history of his farm and how they had resurrected it from previous owners 40 years ago and made it into an internationally known prize winning olive oil producer.” – VBT traveler from Virginia
Learn about the unique construction of a trulli house
Offered on our Puglia: Italy’s Undiscovered Coast biking vacation
During a stop in Alberobello we’ll visit with a local expert to learn about trulli houses and why they have been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A trullo is a unique type of building, characteristic of this region, consisting of a whitewashed, round house topped by a large cone of local stones—all assembled without mortar. Many trulli are still used and inhabited today, and some of their roofs show mysterious chalk marks, either to protect from evil or to bless the house.
What our travelers say: “We were drawn to Puglia because of the charming, quirky conical dry-stone Trulli houses found in this region. I delighted in every one of these amazing structures I saw and my curiosity was satisfied by our opportunity to see the inside of a Trulli and how the architecture perfectly suited the environment.” – VBT traveler from Vermont
Learn the ancient art of Stonecutting
Offered on our Croatia: The Dalmatian Islands biking vacation
During our stay in the port town of Pucisca we’ll visit the stonecutters’ school here. Brac’s world-renowned stone has been used in the construction of some the world’s most famous buildings, including Diocletian’s Palace in Split and the White House in Washington, D.C. This is a unique opportunity to see students’ work and learn about a near-forgotten craft at one of the world’s few remaining stonecutting schools.
What our travelers say: “Pucisca is one of the most picturesque villages we have ever seen in years of travel. Pucisca, home of the White House’s limestone facade, houses a stonecutters’ school where master artisans are trained both academically and in their unique art.” – VBT Traveler from Indiana
Explore Andalusia’s Christian and Arabic history
Offered on Spain: Under the Andalusian Sky biking vacation
We’ll embrace the region’s diverse heritage through visits to Christian cathedrals that once stood as Moorish mosques. Explore the Mezquita of Cordoba and enjoy its magnificent gardens and stunning architecture on a guided tour. In Granada, we’ll meet our local guide who will take us to the Alhambra Palace for an included visit of the Palace and Generalife Gardens, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
What our travelers say: “Tours of each city were an exercise in culture, religious history and architecture in a region with perhaps more of each than any other. What a sensory delight in every way! A tour of Alhambra, among the many other unique palaces and houses of worship of historical significance in Andalusia, was simply the icing on a wonderful cake!” – VBT traveler from Illinois
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