Top Moments of Discovery on VBT’s Most Popular Tours

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
Cresky Krumlov Tour
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
Tuscany Olive Oil tasting
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
trulli
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
Stonecutters School in Croatia
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
alhambra
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

To request a full catalog with all of our 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 or on Saturdays from 10:00am to 3:00pm EST.

Explore Ireland with VBT

Cliffs of Moher
celtic cross-LEvery year, in the middle of March, many parts of the world turn their attention to Ireland—a gorgeous island nation full of history, culture, and amazing biking and walking routes. St. Patrick’s Day is a public holiday in Ireland, Northern Ireland and certain parts of Canada that occurs annually on March 17th—the death date of Ireland’s most famous Patron Saint—and celebrates the arrival of Christianity to Ireland. While religious ceremonies are an integral part of the holiday within Ireland, it has evolved into more of a cultural celebration by Irish diaspora around the world with parades, festivals, consumption of traditional Irish food and alcohol, green clothing and plentiful displays of shamrocks—Saint Patrick’s preferred symbol for the Holy trinity.  Although VBT doesn’t run tours to the Irish homeland during St Patrick’s Day, we have many departures on both our Irish biking and walking tours from May through September this year. So join us and discover the beauty, people and rich history of this amazing country.

Ireland: Galway & Connemara Coast ​Biking Tour
Traveler Rating: 4.9/5  | Difficulty Rating: Easy/Moderate
Ireland BikingImmerse yourself in the breathtaking landscapes, ancient roots and colorful people of Ireland one of the best ways—thatch roof lunch stop by bicycle—on this sweep of the country’s west coast. Highlights of this tour include a visit to the Burren (a rare place where arctic, Mediterranean and alpine plants thrive side by side), a stay at a family-run guesthouse in the Aran Islands, a walk along the spectacular Cliffs of Moher, learning about Irish culture from a local historian, attending live traditional Irish music performances, an authentic home-cooked meal, and chatting with locals at a lively pub. We’ll also spend 2 nights at one of Ireland’s best-loved small hotels—Sheedy’s Country House Hotel—and enjoy dinner prepared by the owner, John Sheedy, who is also considered one of Ireland’s finest chefs.

Ireland: Walking the West Country​ Tour
Traveler Rating: 4.9/5  | Difficulty Rating: Easy/Moderate
Ireland Beach Vista
Discover why Ireland has long been a favorite destination for outdoor enthusiasts as we walk through some of the Waterfall in Gleninchaquin ParkEmerald Isle’s most splendid scenery from the soaring peaks of Macgillycuddy’s Reeks to the sandy shores of Derrynane Bay. Along the way, we’ll stay in charming inns and guesthouses, and delight in the warmth and wit of the famously friendly locals we’ll mingle with in lively pubs and charming restaurants. Highlights of this tour include walking in the lush meadows and glittering lakes of Killarney National Park, exploring the Gap of Dunloe— a stunning glacial valley—on foot or via a horse-drawn jaunting cart, walking a stretch of the scenic Kerry Way, Ireland’s most famous walking trail, savoring tea and scones with a Killarney family in their home, and discovering picturesque Kinsale, the “Gourmet Capital of Ireland.”

GuinnessIf 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. To request a catalog or for more information on these tours please visit www.vbt.com

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