VBT’s Top Ten Vistas

Here at VBT, we offer travelers the opportunity to get in touch with unique cultures and landscapes around the world. Often some of the most rewarding moments on a VBT bicycling or walking vacation can be when we take a step back, and take in the scenery that has unfolded before us. We invite you to pause with us, and enjoy VBT’s Top ten Vistas.

Kinderdijk

Dutch Windmills

The mere mention of Holland usually prompts images of their highly celebrated windmills. Our Holland and Belgium Bike & Barge vacation offers travelers the chance to unpack only once, cruise and ridge through the Flemish countryside, and of course, see plenty of windmills. Featuring 19 historic mills where the Lek and Noord rivers meet, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Kinderdijk is the perfect place to explore the Dutch icon.

Green Mountains

Lake Champlain

Just beyond our front door here in Bristol, VBT’s Classic Vermont and Vermont: Champlain Valley & Islands vacations offer stunning views of our acclaimed Green Mountains. As we cycle along farm roads, and gentle valleys, we’ll also take in great views of Lake Champlain and neighboring New York State.

Cliffs of Moher

Irish Sea

Speaking of verdant landscapes, the Cliffs of Moher in western Ireland give travelers on our Ireland: Galway & Connemara Coast bicycling vacation a staggering view from high above the Irish Sea. You’ll be treated to gentle routes, rugged coastlines and a few clever yarns on this captivating vacation through the Emerald Isle.

Mountains of Patagonia

Patagonia

VBT’s Argentina: Walking in Patagonia offers one of the best vantage points to marvel at the mountains of Patagonia. From the valleys below, we’ll peer up at some of South America’s largest glaciers and peaks while enjoying great walks, deluxe accommodations and tremendous local wines.

Italy’s Dolomites

Dolomite Mountains

If enjoying comfortable temperatures while riding below snow-capped peaks appeals to you, consider our Italy: Cycling the Dolomite Valleys vacation. Here we experience cultural diversity, exquisite cuisine and unparalleled views of South Tyrol’s Dolomite Mountain Range.

Český Krumlov 

Vltava River

Our biking journey through the Czech Republic, Germany & Austria begins in the capital city of Prague. As we pedal along the Vltava River we come upon the historic city of Český Krumlov, with its Baroque, Renaissance and Gothic architecture. The view of the city from above the Vltava River is a sight that you’ll continue treasure long after your visit.

Florence’s Duomo

Duomo in Florence

Italy is so steeped in history and splendor that it’s impossible to pick just one sight to explore. However, it’s hard to ignore the allure of the Duomo in Florence. Take a minute to absorb the scenery of the city from the Boboli Gardens on our Tuscan Coast or Tuscan Hill Towns by Bike vacations.

Manuel Antonia Park

Beaches of Costa Rica

If you’re in the mood for sun and surf, take some time out at one of the beaches of Costa Rica’s Manuel Antonia Park. A natural paradise, Costa Rica boasts some of the most exciting wildlife reserves in the world, not to mention a few of the world’s most beautiful beaches. Enjoy the wildlife on our Walking Costa Rica’s Highlands and Coast vacation or take advantage of the optional visit on our Adventure Costa Rica! biking vacation.

Path of the Gods

Amalfi Coast

Undoubtedly, Amalfi’s most ethereal views are taken in along the Path of the Gods. As we descend upon the seaside village of Positano on our Amalfi Coast & Capri vacation, peer out over the seemingly endless blue waters of the Mediterranean, and enjoy an exhilarating walk high above the sea. You may want to take the opportunity to take a few photos, too.

Machu Picchu

Lost City

Few experiences can compare to looking out upon the “Lost City” from the Inca Trail. At VBT, our travelers complement that awe-inspiring view with a connection to local Andean culture while journeying through Peru: Machu Picchu & The Sacred Valley. The result of exploring the culture along with the terrain is a rewarding and invigorating sense of discovery. Quite simply, it’s the reason that we travel.

Enrich your adventures, and join us for a biking or walking vacation filled with stunning views this year.

Art and Travel

An Artist’s Journey with VBT
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then Trish W. of Benbrook Texas has painted her way through quite a discourse, Traveling with VBT. For the past three years Trish has been drawing on the inspiration she finds in VBT’s biking vacations to paint vivid landscapes of all the vistas she can capture.

Finding Her Calling and Finding it Again
Trish found her love for art when she was very young. In fact, at only two years of age Trish began drawing and painting on her first canvas, the walls of her home. When it became clear that this was less of a phase and more of a calling, Trish’s parents developed a unique approach to fostering Trish’s creative drive while giving a bit of a break to the walls around the house. She recalls, “My parents eventually decided to put up chalk boards all around the house for me to draw on.”

Trish continued drawing and painting throughout her childhood and eventually received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting and Drawing at the University of Texas. She followed that degree with a Master of Fine Arts in Ceramics at Texas Women’s University. Though she is proficient in many artistic disciplines, Trish has devoted most of her life’s work to painting portraits. That is, until a friend recommended VBT’s Puglia Vacation. Trish took her friend up on the adventure and discovered an entirely new muse, the outdoors. “On the bike you see things you wouldn’t ordinarily notice and that appeals to me as a painter… and the scenery can be so majestic. I still love to paint faces, but now I really love painting places, too.”

Experiencing the Destination
Trish began traveling with VBT in 2009. Since then, she’s kept up quite a pace, Biking in Ireland in 2010 and California Wine Country in 2011. And she’s already made plans to take two VBT vacations in 2012, Biking Vermont and Cycling Tuscany.

It’s no wonder that she has taken such an interest in traveling with VBT. For Trish, vacations are all about enjoying the experience. “Once I started traveling with VBT by bike I decided that that was the only way to go. I’ve always felt safe, it’s wonderful how well thought out the trips are, and I love it when someone else does all the detail work.” Given her vocation as a painter, Trish also enjoys the flexibility to peel off from the group at any time to snap as many photos as she likes, using the photographs as models for her paintings.

When riding through a new destination, Trish tends to connect with local animals about as much as she does local people. Her work is a testament to how inspired she is by wildlife and nature. But, connecting with fellow travelers also has its benefits. Throughout her journeys, Trish is constantly painting, and she’ll often trade her work for a glass of wine or two. She even got a massage in exchange for one of her pieces. A glass of wine and a massage? What a way to cap off a great day of biking!

Looking Back and Looking Ahead
VBT’s emphasis on connecting travelers with their destination certainly rings true for Trish. “Ireland was my favorite. All my ancestors come from Ireland, and as soon as I got there, it felt like I was coming home. And biking through Ireland was such a wonderful experience. Every turn presented a new vista.”

Where to next? With two biking vacations coming up in 2012, Trish has the coming year pretty well planned out. However, she is still looking ahead to more VBT vacations in the future. She would love to Explore France, perhaps by Biking in Loire Valley or Bicycling Bordeaux. And she may take her first walking vacation with VBT, through Machu Picchu.

Whichever she chooses, it seems clear that through her work, Trish will continue to inspire others just as she is impacted by the myriad of sights and experiences that VBT vacations have to offer. You can view more of Trish’s work on her website.