5 VBT Must-See Winter Destinations

Variety is the spice of life, and it’s also one of the reasons that International Travel is so exciting. In addition to enjoying a variety experiences when you explore, it’s also important to have a variety of destinations to choose from before you begin. Whether Biking, Walking or Cross-Country Skiing is your preferred means of active travel, we’ve got you covered this winter.

Journey through Vietnam

Bike Vietnam, Halong Bay

If you’re looking to really get away this winter, then make your way well east to travel alongside the locals as you Bike Vietnam. Bustling city streets give way to serene landscapes of open rice paddies, rolling, verdant hills and the magical volcanic-rock formations of Halong Bay. What better way to explore than by biking through the dramatic landscapes of Vietnam?

New Zealand: The South Island

New Zealand Tours, South Island, Bike Tour New Zealand

You might also consider a winter vacation down south, or more accurately, Down Under. The best part about taking a winter vacation in the Southern hemisphere is that it isn’t a winter vacation at all. As you cross the equator, seasons are reversed. So you can enjoy summer Holiday in February. On our Tour of New Zealand, we focus on the nation’s breathtaking South Island where the residents’ infectious sense of adventure and the land’s astounding beauty are sure to captivate you. This year, hop on a bike and take a summer vacation right in the middle of winter.

Argentina: Walking in Patagonia

Patagonia Tour

Speaking of adventuresome Warm Winter vacations, Walking in Patagonia just might take the cake. It really depends on how you like to explore – on two wheels or on two feet. If walking your way past snow-capped peaks, glacial lakes and pristine wilderness is up your alley, then VBT’s Tour of Patagonia is your best bet. Plus, you can get the best of both worlds – rugged wilderness and a lively city – if you begin your vacation with our exciting pre-trip extension in Buenos Aires.

Costa Rica

Costa Rica Tour

If you’re into the language, but not quite up for the South American location, then set your sights north of Argentina, and Explore Costa Rica this winter. This peaceful Central American republic is a just a quick flight away and it’s packed with variety. We’ve got two vacations to choose from – one biking and the other walking. And each will give travelers an up-close and personal window into the abundant wildlife as well as the affable nature of Costa Rica’s people. Head to Costa Rica and learn the true meaning of “Pura Vida!”

Italy & Austria: Cross-Country Skiing the Dolomites​

Ski Vacations, Winter Vacation

So far we’ve stuck to the Warmer Side of our Winter Vacations, but for many travelers, winter simply spells snow. We’re slipping on our skis and exploring the great outdoors in some of Europe’s most fantastic snowy destinations. Namely, the valleys of the Dolomite Mountain range in Italy and Austria. With snowy spires looming overhead, we’ll cruise along groomed trails from refreshment hut to refreshment hut, basking in the snow and even soaking up some sun.

Whichever type of Winter Vacation appeals to you, we’ve got it. So join us and Bike, Walk or Ski with VBT this winter!

Falling in Love with Skiing in Europe

Ski Italy, Ski Europe, Skiing, Skiing the Alps, Ski Dolomites, DolomitesAs a professional ski racer, the question often comes up, “How long have you been skiing?” They inevitable answer always seems to be “since I was a kid.”

A better question would be “when did you first fall in love with skiing?” For me, it was on my first trip to Europe in high school to compete in the Italian Marcialonga Ski Marathon. I had experienced the Birkie in Hayward, but had no idea what to expect from my first trip to Europe—let alone my first international ski race.

Lining up at the start line in the tiny mountain village of Moena in Italy’s famed Val di Fassa, I was surrounded by hundreds of skiers and could not understand a word they were saying. When the gun went off, the massive pack of skiers took off down the trail, which turned out to be groomed streets through the village of Moena. It was a “choose-your-own-adventure” of ski trails, past 13th-century buildings and down narrow, cobble streets covered by groomed ski tracks.

Considering we were racing in the Dolomites, I was surprised that the course was relatively flat, but I found smooth, level skiing along the brook created by the lake, Lago di Soraga. As we followed the trail, we kept skiing through little towns – Pozza, Canazei, Predazzo – each town had scores of locals lining the route cheering. Each town would try to out-do the last. Local elementary school students would cheer “die! die! die!” Italian for “go! go! go!” and brass bands would trumpet polka tunes – this region, after all, was part of Austria before World War I.

Everything about the race was exciting. Everything at a Worldloppet event is exciting and the Italians know better than anyone how to have a good time!

Ski Italy, Ski Europe, Skiing, Skiing the Alps, Ski Dolomites, Dolomites

It was this experience racing in Europe that helped me fall in love with skiing and inspired another 12 years of international competition—not to mention a few more in the years to come!

Of course, when deciding the places to bring guests for VBT’s first Nordic Ski Tours and Worldloppet events, the Marcialonga in Italy was the first place that came to mind. You can join me this winter for 12 days in Europe and compete in both the Marcialonga and Austrian Dolomitenlauf. Read more about the departure on our website.

The Marcialonga trip and race registration are filling fast! Contact our sales team by Tuesday, October 9, to get more information and reserve your place on the tour. I can’t wait to ski with you in Italy this winter!

For more great ski news check out our friends at www.skipost.com.