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Travel guides, tour guide

A couple weeks ago, here in Vermont we were treated to unseasonably warm temperatures and bright sunny days - just in time for our Trip Leader Orientation! Talented bikers, walkers and travel experts from around the world joined us at our Bristol farmhouse to meet their home base team and have a lot of fun!

Travel guides, tour guide

We had some great lunches, expertly prepared by our new Leaders.

Travel guides, tour guide
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VBT’s Top 10 Vacations

We love hearing what our travelers have to say about their journeys and experiences with VBT. We’re continually influenced and motivated by correspondences with our guests, and we thought you might be too. Based on the percentage of VBT travelers who rated their overall experience as “excellent” after traveling with us last year, we have assembled a collection of our top rated 2011 Bicycling and Walking Vacations. Enjoy!

California Wine Country & the Pacific Coast – 94.71% Excellence Rating

Experience California’s wine country the best way—up close, by bicycle—on a comprehensive tour that also takes in Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve and more. We’ll cycle over low hills and flatlands and listen to a pounding surf on a scenic spin along the Pacific coast, enjoying wine and olive oil tastings, picnic lunches and dinner at a leading steakhouse along the way. It’s a true taste of wine country as only bicycling allows!

Peru: Machu Picchu & The Sacred Valley – 92.91% Excellence Rating

Peru Tour, Travel Peru, Machu Picchu Tour

It’s been 100 years since Hiram Bingham stumbled on the “Lost City” of Machu Picchu. Our ramblings trace his path to this mysterious realm, and bring you deep into the world of the Inca. In the Sacred Valley, we follow altiplano trails to colossal stone fortresses, explore a colorful Cuyuni community market, visit a riverside Quechua village, and toast new friends over a local chicha brew. And we’ll approach the lost city from the most uplifting vantage: through the cloud forests and mountainside footpaths of the Inca Trail.

Ireland: Walking the West Country 2012 – 92.86% Excellence Rating

Travel Ireland, Ireland Tour, Ireland Vacation

It’s been said that the grasses of Ireland’s emerald glens dance in ocean breezes. If it’s so, then perhaps a bit o’ magic is afoot. Or perhaps the unbridled beauty of the Land of Eire really is alive. During this inspiring walking itinerary, we’ll trace footpaths that wind along velvety meadows and pristine streams. Mossy cliffs over the roiling Atlantic and pastoral woodland along lapping lakeshores are sure to mesmerize. And if Ireland’s beauty doesn’t entrance you, then tea, lunch, and conversation with VBT friends in their homes will. Join us, and step into enchanting Ireland!

Arizona: Sonoran Splendor – 92.59% Excellence Rating

Southwest Vacation, Arizona Vacation, Travel Arizona

Get ready for a round-up of the Old West of American folklore! From the saddle of your custom VBT bicycle, you’ll set out across the open desert, surrounded by magnificent mountains and the wide Arizona sky. Along the way, we’ll visit fascinating museums and art galleries, witness firsthand the region’s unique plant and wildlife, savor a wine tasting at a family-owned vineyard and cycle amid the iconic sentries of the desert, Saguaro cacti. Our lodgings at historic resorts and ranches ensure that your experience of America’s Western heritage is authentic from start to finish.

Provence: The Alpilles – 92.44% Excellence Rating

Aix en Provence, Travel France, Provence Tour

Van Gogh captured the essence of Provence on canvas. As VBT captures it on two wheels, you’ll feel as inspired as the great artist. Lush vineyards and poppy fields line our biking routes, and limestone cliffs give rise to the soaring Alpilles. Our bucolic roads lead us to the cobbled streets of historic cities, breathtaking Roman remnants from empire days, and achingly quaint villages and their traditional Provençal marchés. Along the way, historians regale us with the sweeping stories behind St. Remy, Arles, and Avignon. And we enjoy the finer touches of le joie de vivre over lunch with a famed pastry maker.

Loire Valley – 92.13% Excellence Rating

loire, loire tours, loire chateaux

Cycle into a world of French nobility on VBT’s Loire Valley biking vacation. Here, gentle roads follow meandering rivers to châteaux dressed in prim and proper gardens. Pastoral forests skirt fields green as emeralds. And the reds and whites produced here – Cabernet Francs and Chenin Blancs – offer up an earthen fruitiness befitting royalty. But there’s more to the Loire than its sprawling estates, as we discover when we tour the ancient city of Blois with a local historian, sample supreme vintages with seasoned wine-growers, and savor incomparable regional cuisine. And each night, we retire to stately accommodations that would please a king. Join us traveling Loire Valley!

The Tuscan Coast – 92.11% Excellence Rating

Toscana, Tour of Tuscany, Tours Tuscany

On our most popular vacation, you’ll experience a side of Tuscany that most travelers miss. It’s the Tuscany of sea-kissed breezes and Etruscan ruins that pre-date ancient Rome. It’s where a love for the earth’s bounty is lovingly paired with the bounty of the sea. And it’s where cypress-lined bike routes lead to fortified hill towns with sweeping Tyrrhenian views. Join us, and you’ll meet the people who are as passionate about their land as we are: the vintners who offer us tastings, the chefs who teach us culinary secrets, and the olive oil makers who invite us to their press.

Maine Coast: Purely Acadia – 92% Excellence Rating

Bar Harbor Maine, Acadia National Park, Maine Vacations

The rugged coast of Maine is the ideal getaway, with its idyllic location, spectacular scenery and unique lifestyle. You can experience coastal Maine at its best—VBT style—at Acadia National Park. As you explore the park along its network of traffic-free carriage roads, you’ll discover a treat for all the senses, from glorious views, the scent of pine forests, the caress of sea breezes and soothing surf to the freshest lobster you’ve ever tasted. Combining charming towns, a pristine island hamlet and a host of optional activities, this bicycling vacation offers you the ultimate Down East experience.

Tuscany by the Sea – 90.48% Excellence Rating

Toscana, Tour of Tuscany, Tours Tuscany

Join VBT as we explore Tuscany’s spectacular coastal vistas. In the unspoiled Maremma region, Tyrrhenian waves lap at white-sand beaches and ancient Etruscan routes trace protected wetlands that harbor an Italian aviary. Amidst this tranquil beauty, we reel past vineyards and poppy fields, pause for invigorating swims on magnificent shores, and explore ancient castles and forgotten Etruscan roads. And we’ll look beyond this broad, spellbinding view to sample local vintages, learn culinary secrets during a cooking class, venture to remote Giglio Island, and savor mouth-watering meals prepared with the freshest ingredients at local farms and our agriturismo resorts.

Heart of Europe: Bike & Barge Metz to Cochem – 90.32% Excellence Rating

River Cruises, France Barge, Cruise Europe

Experience life along the beautiful Moselle River and its tributaries up close on a journey through the very distinct cultures of Luxembourg, France and Germany. Hotel stays in Luxembourg City and Koblenz, Germany, frame our river cruise aboard a luxury barge to fairytale villages of timber-framed houses and fascinating outposts of the Roman Empire. Along the way, we disembark for memorable rides through a picturesque countryside renowned for its award-winning wines—and enjoy a tasting. Generous sightseeing and a host of meals that offer an authentic taste of local fare make this a tremendous value as well as an invaluable experience.