Top 5 Vacations for First-time VBT Travelers in 2013

Czech River Biking

If you’ve never been on an active vacation with VBT you might be wrestling with the decision of which tour you’d like to go on first. Maybe you know you want to see Italy, but which region? Or you’ve always wanted to visit Europe but you’re not sure about which part. Don’t worry, we can help you find the vacation that’s right for you. Depending upon the time of year you want to travel and which types of active and cultural activities really resonate with who you are, we have many options to choose from. To help get the ball rolling we’ve compiled a list of the Top 5 Vacations of 2013 for first-time VBT travelers. If you click on each tour name, you will be taken to that tour’s webpage where you can find traveler reviews, photos, daily itineraries and everything you’ll need to make your choice. Enjoy!

1.) The Czech Republic, Germany & Austria ​bicycling vacation
Durnstein AustriaThe heart of Central Europe is revealed on an itinerary that touches three distinct countries. Highlights of this vacation include a guided tour of historic Český Krumlov—a UNESCO World Heritage Site, crossing into Germany at a unique, pedestrian-only border crossing, lunch and conversation with a Bavarian family, and a cruise on the Danube as you admire one of the most scenic landscapes in Europe.

2.) Tuscany by the Sea biking vacation
VBT Tuscany by the Sea Biking VacationJoin VBT to discover a hidden pocket of Tuscany—the unspoiled Maremma region. Highlights of this tour include stays at charming agriturismos that produce their own wines and olive oils, cooking lessons, walking the ramparts of ancient walled cities, gelato sampling, and cycling through historic towns, nature reserves and routes with sweeping views of the sea.

3.) The Tuscan Coast biking vacation
Tuscany Biking The exquisite beauty of Tuscany unfolds before you as we cycle along breathtakingly scenic routes – including one of the most beautiful wine roads in Italy. Highlights of this tour include delicious meals prepared by the world-class chef/owner of the Agrihotel Elisabetta, riding along the Strada del Vino, learning about olive oil production from the owner of a family-owned mill, and biking to ancient hilltop castles along Tuscany’s Etruscan Coast

4.) Croatia: The Dalmatian Islands bicycling vacation
Biking CroatiaExplore an area of Croatia long revered for its fascinating history, stunning scenery and mild climate. Highlights of this tour include an authentic Croatian dinner in the home of a local family, a visit to one of the world’s last remaining stonecutting schools, beautiful coastal biking routes, and a stay on the island of Hvar—one of the world’s ten most beautiful islands according to Condé Nast Traveler magazine.

5.) Puglia: Italy’s Undiscovered Coast biking vacation
Biking to Ostuni Masseria & Trees panorama PugliaExplore a different side of Italy, where local life moves at the gentle pace of the lapping sea. Highlights of this vacation include exploring the iconic trulli homes of Alberobello with a local specialist, stays at masserie, a home-hosted lunch and olive oil tasting with a local family, and cycling along the dramatic Adriatic Seacoast to the town of Porto Badisco—famous for its azure waters and prehistoric Cervi Grottoes.

These are just a few examples of the amazing vacations that VBT offers. To request a catalog 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.

Visit Some of the Most Photographed Places in Tuscany with VBT

Tuscany landscape

Tuscany is one of the most heralded regions in Italy and is known for beautiful scenery, artistic history and amazing cuisine and local vineyards. Between its Mediterranean coast, historic architecture, hilltop villages, medieval cities and rolling hills, there are plenty of chances to take some amazing pictures of Tuscany while on your vacation. With 5 tours in the region, VBT takes travelers on a variety of adventures and there will be plenty of photo ops along the way—so don’t leave your camera back at the hotel!  Here are a few of the most photographed places in Tuscany.

Val D’Orcia + Siena (found on Tuscan Hill Towns by Bike​)
A7 31008 T2033TUPAX, Tuscany Italy
Between the rolling hills and chalk plains of Val D’Orcia—Orcia River Valley—is where you’ll find a lot of iconic agricultural landscapes seen in many Renaissance paintings. The cypress trees, poppy blooms and hilltop castles and villas that dot the region make for some breathtaking imagery. The area is also close to some amazing medieval villages like San Gimignano. With VBT, you’ll also visit Siena, which is the embodiment of a medieval city. Throughout history, the town has preserved its Gothic appearance, which was developed between the 12th and 15th centuries. The whole city of Siena, built around the Piazza del Campo, was created as a work of art that blends into the surrounding landscape. Don’t miss the Siena Cathedral as the façade alone is worth the visit.

Florence (found on both The Tuscan Coast​ & Italy: The Quiet Pathways of Tuscany)
Florence Italy

Four of our Tuscan vacations begin with an optional pre-extension spending two magical days in Florence, the art lover’s paradise. Tuscany boasts more classified historical monuments than any other region in the world, and the most dazzling are in Florence. The Renaissance began here, and the period’s great works of art are on display throughout the city. Florence is a great city to explore on foot and has many attractions concentrated in the relatively small historic center stretching from Piazza del Duomo south to the Arno River. At night try heading up to Piazzale Michelangelo, which has a great view overlooking the city.

Lucca + Pisa (found on Cycling Italy’s Middle Ages: Lucca to Pisa​)Pisa
During our stay in Lucca, we’ll ride atop the city’s famous Renaissance city walls with their large and well-beaten avenues created for pedestrians and bikers. Photographers will rejoice in the views inward towards the city as well as outward towards the Apuan Alps—not too far from where Michelangelo used to personally choose the big blocks of marble that he used to craft his iconic sculptures. You’ll also spend an afternoon in Pisa at one of the most outstanding piazzas in the world: Campo dei Miracoli. Here you can get some great shots of the famous leaning tower, the cathedral, baptistery and cemetery.

Giglio Island (found on Tuscany by the Sea)
View from Giglio Castello
For classic coastal scenery, we’ll board a ferry to Giglio Island, arriving in the village of Giglio Porto. During our afternoon stay take some photos in the walled hilltop town of Giglio Castello, dominated by a fortress called the Rocca Pisana. This town is the oldest inhabited center on the island and still retains much of its medieval atmosphere. For dramatic coastal views, be sure to bring your camera to Campese Beach where we’ll eat lunch and spend some free time swimming or relaxing on the beach. Ample photography chances await you on an optional hike along the Faraglione cliffs, where some 700 different species of wildflowers and plants grow in this remote little corner of Tuscany.

These are just a few examples of the spectacular places to take photographs in Tuscany while on tour with VBT. To read more about our Italian 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.