Cycle through a serene Tuscan countryside on your way to a relaxing picnic lunch … Trace the banks of Vietnam’s Perfume River, where sampans and houseboats ply the waters, and savor the peace of an ancient pagoda … Travel among the lush vineyards of California’s fertile Russian River Valley, “the Kingdom of Pinot Noir” … Discover the lovingly preserved windmills along the gentle river Noord in Holland’s beloved Kinderdijk. From the delectable taste of fresh olives in Italy to the soothing sound of waves lapping the colorful docks of Maine’s Bar Harbor, a VBT active vacation will exhilarate your senses.
When you travel with VBT, you’ll discover that cycling, walking, or skiing in the great outdoors is only part of your vacation. We tailor each of our vacations to engage and fully satisfy your mind, body, and spirit. Of course, you’ll invigorate your body by being active. But through warm encounters with local people and by experiencing their heritage and traditions as they do, you’ll be rewarded with a finer understanding of their history and environment. You’re not glimpsing a destination behind a plate-glass window—you’re using your senses to see with your heart. With VBT, your vacation is never simply a sightseeing tour. Instead, whether cycling through the tranquil countryside of Arles and Saint-Remy-de-Provence that inspired van Gogh, sharing a cooking lesson in the home of a Slovakian family, or discovering fascinating Gullah culture on South Carolina’s St. Helena Island, your connection to the world is direct, authentic, and unforgettable.
A nice walk, jog, swim, or bicycle ride does more than exercise the body. Physical activity also clears and refreshes the mind and settles the emotions, enhancing one’s mental state. Consider how at ease yet enlivened we feel after a good stretch in the garden or walk around the neighborhood. Reinvigorated inside and out, we’re more receptive to new experiences. That’s why a VBT vacation deftly blends physical activity with cultural interaction and hands-on discovery, rewarding you in so many ways. We’ll introduce you to local persons of interest, teach you a bit of the language, provide historical background, and help you truly experience regional life and culture.
Body: perfect pacing and pampering
We design our trips to exhilarate you, not to wear you out. After all, this is your vacation. Anyone who loves travel, is reasonably fit, and able to enjoy moderate daily exercise is the perfect person for VBT. One reason for this is choice: every day you set your own pace, choosing from route options that vary in distance and degree of challenge. Enjoy a slow ride or go all out. There’s no pressure, just plenty of flexibility for you—not to mention all the TLC from our experienced support team and accompanying van. There’s also plenty of free time, and you can opt out of any scheduled activity to pursue your own interests or indulge in as much pampering as you wish.
Spirit: community and connection
We all know travel is great fun. But it’s also an opportunity to enrich and transform one’s perspective—if not one’s very life—by making new connections and finding new kinships. By cycling, walking, or skiing into a village, we venture off paths well worn by tourist buses. We don’t disrupt the natural flow of things, we just blend right in. Using local Trip Leaders helps, too. They introduce you to local friends, share an insider’s perspective, and facilitate rich connections. Because our groups are small, our interactions feel more personal—not just with the locals but with each other. A fellowship develops that lasts long after the farewell toasts have been made. We feel privileged to nurture that spirit.