Best Reasons to Travel to the Tuscan Coast with VBT

Gregg--Vineyard Tuscan Coast

So much of southern Tuscany seems to have emerged from the earth itself. Tiny villages huddle within walls and rise atop hills as if divinely sculpted from the very stone upon which they perch. Quaint farms – many of them transformed into countryside agriturismo inns – offer up a bounty that finds its way onto famed Tuscan tables. As we cycle along its friendly Wine Roads—whose soil bear vintages so bold they can only be called Super Tuscans—we pass ancient olive groves that produce smooth elixirs beloved by the Medici family themselves. VBT will bring you the heart of the Etruscan Coast and here are some of the best reasons why you should join us.

The Cycling
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There are wonderful biking routes throughout the tour, but one of our favorites is the day we take in the scenery on a spellbinding cycle along one of the most picturesque routes in Europe, from Sassetta to Suvereto. During our ride we’ll pass cork and pine trees, medieval estates, and fields of sunflowers before arriving in Suvereto—an ancient village that dates back to the year 1000. Located on a hill overlooking the coast, the town is a true jewel full of history and art. After walking the ancient streets, we’ll continue on a thrilling downhill ride to Montioni where you’ll have the option to hop on our van and shuttle through a beautiful area of flat grazing lands, or continue riding back to our inviting country hotel.

The Agritourismi
Agriturismo Montebelli--Exterior at night

At VBT we place a certain emphasis on our guests immersing themselves into as much local culture as possible, and a big part of that are the accommodations we carefully select.  One of our favorites, the Agriturismo Montebelli—which has 91% thumbs up rate from Trip Advisor—is a gorgeous country hotel located in the Maremma region that is surrounded by olive trees, gardens and vineyards. VBT travelers will enjoy using their tennis courts and bocce courts, as well as relaxing in the outdoor pool or taking advantage of their horseback riding facilities for a leisurely ride. We’ll also dine on fresh food, much of which is grown right on the property and cooked up by the chefs at their amazing restaurant.

Wine and Olive Oil Tastings
Tuscany Olive Oil tasting
Not only will we pedal past beautiful wine roads like the Strada del Vino—which traces the Ornellaia vineyard to Bolgheri along gently rolling hills—we’ll also enjoy a tasting of some of the best varietals in our Agrihotel’s wine cantina in Collemezzano. Also, on day 6 of the tour, we’ll visit the family-owned and operated Fonte di Foiano olive oil mill in Livorno. Upon arrival we’ll meet members of the Di Gaetano family and enjoy 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.

The Pre-Trip Extension
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The Tuscan Coast tour begins with an optional pre-trip extension of two days in Florence, the cradle of the Renaissance. Florence is a perfect city to discover on foot because many of its attractions are centrally located in the small historic city center that stretches from Piazza del Duomo south to the Arno River. By day you can see all the masterpieces of art that are on display throughout the city and at night we’d recommend heading up to Piazzale Michelangelo, and taking in its enchanting  views overlooking the city.

To learn more about how you can visit this region on VBT’s popular The Tuscan Coast tour please click here. If you would like to reserve a vacation or speak with one of our Tour Consultants, please call 800-245-3868 or visit vbt.com. They are available Monday-Friday from 8:30am to 6:30pm EST and Saturdays from 10:00am to 3:00pm EST.

Top Reasons to Take a Walking Vacation with VBT

VBT Amalfi Coast Walking Vacation
As renowned naturalist, John Muir, once said “in every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks,” and we couldn’t agree more. Walking builds a connection with the culture, people, and landscape of a country that sinks in and enriches your soul. When you take a walking vacation with VBT, you’ll enjoy the camaraderie of traveling in a small group, our expert local Trip Leaders to lead the way, and the promise of new discoveries. Why should you take a walking vacation with VBT? Well, we’re glad you asked—here are some of the best reasons.

Experience natural and cultural wonders of the world up close and personalMachu Picchu
Your VBT walking tour will be full of enriching experiences both on and off the trail. We’ll take you places that bikes and cars simply can’t go like the awe-inspiring “Path of the Gods” on the Amalfi Coast; Machu Picchu via the Inca trail; or “tramping” along the breathtaking Abel Tasman Coastal Track in New Zealand. When you’re not on the trail, we arrange guided tours of UNESCO World Heritage Sites to help you learn about the culture and history of your destination including visits to the ruins at Pompeii, Avignon’s Palais des Papes, and the eclectic architecture of Hoi An’s Old Town in Vietnam.

Travel at your own pace
Travelers on a VBT vacation are able to relax and really soak in the surroundings while on tour. We encourage our guests to walk as much or as little as they would like to—everything can be done at your own pace. We’ll also provide free walking poles, local Trip Leaders to guide you, and on-tour support vehicles to assist you at designated points along the way.

Cultural interaction and learning from the locals are part of every trip
Braiding Mozzarella
Your VBT experience will be full of enlightening cultural interactions like conversing with local farmers in Vietnam, visiting with a local lobsterwoman in Acadia National Park, exploring the beautiful scenes of St. Remy that inspired many van Gogh paintings with a local historian, or learning a centuries old custom of how to braid fresh mozzarella with your own hands on the Sorrento Peninsula in Italy. Furthermore, our expert, local trip leaders are more than just tour guides on the trails. Since each leader is a resident of the country they lead in, they know the local customs and traditions, as well as inside information about reliable places to shop, eat, explore, and relax while on a VBT vacation. They’ll also be able to answer any questions you may have about the history or native flora and fauna of your surroundings.

We have trips designed for all levels
We rate the activity level of all of our vacations so you know both the length and difficulty of your daily walking Walking Irelandroutes. If you are an occasional walker and have never taken a walking vacation before, then check out our “Easy” trips to the Italian Lakes, Provence, Spain and Vietnam. If you walk regularly and are looking forward to a vacation that includes a little bit more activity, try our “Easy/Moderate” trips to Ireland, Tuscany, New Zealand and Acadia National Park. If you are an experienced walker and are looking to challenge yourself on a rewarding vacation, look into our “Moderate” trips to Peru or the Amalfi Coast as they are sure to fit the bill.

VBT Value
We offer the highest quality for the best price out there. Each trip includes all accommodations, most meals, two expert local Trip Leaders, unique sightseeing and cultural activities, and round trip international airfare with transfers.  How do we offer the lowest prices and best value in active travel? We buy direct, carefully manage our long-term vendor relationships and the exchange rates of our foreign currency, and most importantly, we accept lower profit margins in order to pass on savings to you. Does this focus on unsurpassed value affect the quality of our vacations? Absolutely not. For the past four years, we have been named to Travel & Leisure World’s Best Tour Operators list and have been voted into the Top 5 in 2012 and 2013.

To learn more about how you can walk the world with VBT please click here. If you would like to reserve a vacation or speak with one of our Tour Consultants, please call 800-245-3868 or visit vbt.com. They are available Monday-Friday from 8:30am to 6:30pm EST and Saturdays from 10:00am to 3:00pm EST.

Walking the Italian Lakes

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