Explore the Treasures of the US National Parks with VBT

Barns_grand_tetons
One of our favorite things about what we do here at VBT is being able to provide once in a lifetime vacations to over 25 different countries throughout 5 of the worlds continents around the world.  From the beaches of Costa Rica to the jungles of Vietnam, the gorgeous peaks of New Zealand or the picturesque sea coast of Italy – that are so many destinations full of rich and diverse beauty for our guests to discover. However, in 2014 in particular, we are extremely excited to help our travelers explore the immense beauty and natural wonders in our own country with 8 vacations that visit National Parks.

The National Park Service—which turns 98 years old in August—does an astounding job preserving the rich historical, cultural and geographical treasures of this great country. With VBT, you’ll be able to visit multiple aspects of this nearly century-old parks system. We’ll take you to the “crown jewels” of the Parks Service like Yellowstone National Park and Acadia. You’ll explore National Historical and Military Parks, ride through a National Monument and even bike along a National Seashore! All the while knowing you’ll have comfortable accommodations and delectable regional cuisine waiting for you at every stop. So join us in 2014 and we’ll help you experience magical places in every corner of these United States in a way that one just cannot do while driving through in a car.

The West
Grand Prismatic Spring
Perhaps the most diverse types of natural wonders and terrain that VBT will take travelers to 2014 are Yellowstone, Grand Teton and Death Valley National Parks. One of our newest additions to VBT’s National Park vacations is the fabulous Yellowstone & Grand Teton: Walking America’s Wilderness tour which brings travelers into the heart of both Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks. For unspoiled splendor and sweeping wonder, perhaps no other places embody American idealism like Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons. You’ll explore jagged granite peaks, pristine alpine lakes, towering geyser eruptions, colorful hot springs, and unprecedented wildlife viewing on a VBT vacation as Yellowstone is renowned for its vast range of wildlife including bears, elk, bison, and antelope and bighorn sheep.

Death Valley_Lead for webEscape the chill in the air this fall on our new Winter Sun: Cycling California’s Death Valley vacation. Travelers will ride through, rich hues of otherworldly beauty while hexagon-laced salt flats paint the horizon and the wide open space reminds you why you ride. Conquer challenging climbs with staggeringly scenic rewards or just go at your own pace along the flat desert floor. Every night culminates in comfort at the renowned 4-diamond Inn at Furnace Creek.

The Northeast
IMG_0779Travelers can visit three different aspects of the Parks system on our various tours in New England.  Immerse yourself in the coastal delights of Acadia National Park both by foot—on our new Coastal Maine: Walking Acadia tour—and by bike, along the famous carriage roads and other beautiful ocean-side roads on  ​Maine Coast: Purely Acadia, a classic vacation for VBT for many years.

Cape_cod_national_seashore_wellfleet_Massachusetts

If biking by the ocean is a passion of yours, join us on a lovely rail trail ride through the protected Cape Cod National Seashore on our Cape Cod & Martha’s Vineyard bicycling vacation.  You’ll bask in the ocean scenery before stopping to learn about the area at the Salt Pond Visitor Center. In VBT’s neck of the woods, travelers on our new  Biking Southern Vermont: A New England Idyllvacation will walk along the carriage trails of the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park in Woodstock, VT —a beautiful pastoral site that preserves where Frederick Billings established a managed forest and a progressive dairy farm.

The Southeast
Learn about American history on two biking vacations that visit a National Monument, Parkway and Military Park. On our Charleston to Savannah: A Southern Reel, ​cycle through the seaside Fort Moultrie, part of Fort Sumter National Monument. The fort is made up of a series of citadels on Sullivan’s Island that were constructed out palmetto logs—hence South Carolina’s nickname—and Edgar Allen Poe was once stationed here.

042

Further inland, our Mississippi: The Natchez Trace​ vacation features lovely ride along sections of the Natchez VicksburgTrace Parkway, which follows the 440 mile eponymous path that was created by Native Americans and used for centuries thereafter by explorers, traders and immigrants. Guest on this tour will also enjoy a day delving deeper into American Civil War history on a ride through the Vicksburg National Military Park, which preserves the site of the Battle of Vicksburg.

For more information regarding, dates, prices and itineraries of these wonderful vacations in the United States please visit vbt.com. If 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.

5 Most Helpful Reviews from VBT’s Central and Eastern European Biking Tours

Central and Eastern European countries are increasingly becoming hotbeds for active travel. The unique cultures, geography and history of fascinating destinations like the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary and Croatia make for the perfect combination of cultural discovery and enjoyable biking routes. In fact, VBT’s Czech Republic, Germany & Austria biking tour was our most popular vacation in 2013. It’s widely known that any prospective traveler enjoys reading reviews from former travelers to get an “insider’s” glimpse into both a locale and the experience of traveling there with VBT. A lot of our travelers kindly write reviews upon returning from a tour and you can find all of them on the “Travelers Reviews” tab on the left side of any tour page on www.vbt.com. To get you started we’ve compiled a list of the most helpful reviews for some of our Central and Eastern European tours, as voted on by readers of the reviews.

The Czech Republic, Germany & Austriabiking tour
Prague
“The tour has a perfect balance of guided tours and freedom to explore on your own.”
Helpful Votes: 4
Reviewer: Deb from California
“We did the pre-trip extension and toured around Prague on our own. The hotel was in a perfect spot as it was close to everything we wanted to see and easy to find after we’d wandered around all day. It was hard for me to choose a favorite place or ride each new stop represented a new adventure. Our guides were very helpful and caring people. I especially enjoyed the information they shared about their own countries. It added a personal note to learning about their cultures. As I rode up and down the verdant hills of Czech Republic, through the forest into Germany, or along one of the rivers, I couldn’t help but smile. It was all so beautiful and I felt so lucky to be there.”

Croatia: The Dalmatian Islands biking tour
Croatia
“Dalmatian Perfection”
Helpful Votes: 7
Reviewer: mrmac from West Tennessee
Excerpt from the Review:  “…this trip had all we wanted and hoped for and more. I especially enjoyed the rides. There was something here for everyone. If you wanted long uphill rides, you could have your fill. If you wanted long downhills with vistas of the Adriatic to your left and right, you had that….Much of the success of the trip was due to our guides, Vanya and Marko. Taking turns, with one driving the support van and the other riding with us, they encouraged and advised us along the way as to the steepness of an incline or a favorite spot for gelato…beyond the rides, Marko and Vanya’s knowledge of Dalmatia and its people helped make this a perfect experience. Whether pointing us to a restaurant in the evening (never were we disappointed in their recommendations) or the ‘prettiest view on all of Hvar,’ their pure joy and pride in their work was evident throughout. This being our first trip with VBT, we asked others how these guys matched up with other guides they had encountered. All indicated that these were the best.”

Poland: Cycling through the Old World​ biking tour
PO“A very real experience of the people and the country.”
Helpful Votes: 4
Reviewer:  Patti from Virginia
“I was so impressed with the love of country from the people of Poland. Every tour guide in every town started the tour with “Thank you for choosing Poland. We hope you love our country as much as we do, and we are happy to have you visit.” A lovely warm welcome. And I did love their country and the opportunity to see it up close and experience the way people live and the towns they live in. VBT takes you into the country, into the towns and villages, not just the tourist attractions (though, you see those, too!). A completely different kind of vacation and experience. Fabulous”

Hungary & Slovakia: The Best of the Danube ​biking tour
HU2
“An absolutely wonderful Trip”
Helpful Votes: 2
Reviewer: Mike from Colorado
“This was our first VBT tour, and it was excellent in every way. We chose this tour largely because of the schedule and availability, but couldn’t have been happier. The most pleasant surprises were Bratislava (which we knew nothing about, and found to be a fascinating and charming city), Hedervary Castle, Esztergom, Szentendre, and especially Budapest (called by many the Paris of Eastern Europe, for good reason). The accommodations, activities and support were superb. Our tour companions were a wonderful group, who had a lot to do with our enjoyment of the trip. Not to be ignored, though, were our excellent tour guides, Csaba and Natalia, who were nothing short of wonderful. Knowledgeable, positive, great ambassadors for Hungary, and really enjoyable people to be with. Thanks, Csaba and Natalia!”

Slovenia, Austria & Italy​ biking tour
SL“Excellent variety of landscape, from alpine valleys, scenic lakes, forest and farming to top European cities.”
Helpful Votes: 1
Reviewer:  Steph from New Jersey
“This was my first VBT trip, and my first organized tour. I was always a do-it-myself traveler. VBT changed that. We were treated to an amazing experience. I met great people, had every detail of my trip perfectly planned and executed and had a beautiful riding experience. We traveled through three countries on well-maintained bike paths, through alpine meadows with scenery that was absolutely beautiful. The hotels were all beautiful in different ways, ranging from authentic, quaint to five star luxury. I would highly recommend this trip!! My experience was so positive I’m off with VBT again next week!”

These are just a few examples of the amazing vacations in Eastern and Central Europe that were found to be most helpful by our traveler. To learn more about our travel reviews and our summer reviews contest—where will be giving away a FREE biking vacation to California—please click here. If 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.