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Ten Stellar Vacations for Sand, Surf, and Cycling

Posted on Friday, September 15th, 2023

Story by: Molly Waldstein | Travel Writer


Whatever siren song calls you to the seaside, it’s sure to come with the scent of salt air, the sound of crashing waves, and the flavor of fresh, local seafood prepared in authentic regional style. If the thought of seaside cycling brings a smile to your face, this post is for you.

Ten Stellar Vacations for Sand, Surf, and Cycling

There’s something alluring about the ocean. Maybe it’s the endless miles of azure water fading into a clear blue sky, or perhaps it’s the smooth expanse of sand that moves with the tides. Your spirit may soar along with the mournful sound of gulls wheeling overhead, a glimpse of the curlew’s spindly legs as it hunts for crabs in the shallows, or the silhouette of swooping pelicans cutting an orderly V shape against the sun. Whatever siren song calls you to the seaside, it’s sure to come with the scent of salt air, the sound of crashing waves, and the flavor of fresh, local seafood prepared in authentic regional style. If the thought of seaside cycling brings a smile to your face, this post is for you.

Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean Shores

Croatia: The Dalmatian Islands Guided Tour: The turquoise waters of Hvar and Brač are calling your name! Discover the azure shores of Croatia’s Dalmatian Islands as you pedal past fields of poppy and lavender, pausing to take a dip in crystal-clear Adriatic waters. In the evenings, experience authentic Croatian culture and cuisine at the home of VBT’s many local friends.

Greece: Sparta, Monemvasia & the Peloponnesian Peninsula Guided Tour: The spectacular island of Monemvasia juts off the Peloponnesian Peninsula into the calm waters of the Aegean Sea—and was once a crossroads of ancient civilizations. Explore dramatic ocean vistas as you pedal the peninsula’s storied coast—discovering sleepy fishing villages, Greek fjords, and Byzantine influences in art, architecture, and cuisine.

Italy: Southern Tuscany & Giglio Island Guided Tour: The rolling green fields of the Maremma dip their toes into the waters of the Mediterranean—and so can you, on this Tuscany seaside cycling adventure. Pedal the coastal route towards the medieval village of Orbetello, perhaps pausing at the waterfront for a refreshing dip. Hike the Faraglione cliffs along the shores of Giglio Island—or relax and enjoy splendid views at the local beach.

France: Normandy & Brittany Guided Tour: The scenic shores of Normandy and Brittany have borne witness to a wealth European history—from the Norman conquest to the D-day landings. Cycle to the shores of Omaha Beach where you’ll tour the American Cemetery with a local guide. Pedal along the French seaside—stopping to peruse quaint local markets, sample oysters fresh from the ocean, and visit the remarkable Mulberry harbour at Arromanches.

Spain & Portugal: Coastal Camino de Santiago Guided Tour: There’s nothing quite so momentous as cycling the Camino de Santiago’s coastal route—traveling from north to south with the wind at your back. Here, you’ll meet local fishermen (and fisherwomen) at the Illa de Arousa, cross the border from Spain to Portugal aboard a local river boat, and stay at an ancient manor that once housed Portuguese royalty.

Italy: Puglia’s Undiscovered Coast Guided Tour: With VBT’s deep roots in Puglia, we know where to find the best seaside scenery in this southern Italian costal region. As you pedal Puglia’s spectacular shores, you’ll explore the bustling harbor at Monopoli, discover the imposing ramparts and charming beaches of Otranto, and perhaps even take a dip in the clear turquoise waters of Santa Cesarea and Porto Badisco.

The Pacific Ocean, Down Under

Chile: Coastal Vistas & Vineyards Guided Tour: Don’t miss out on Chile’s gorgeous coastline! In this unique cycling adventure, VBT brings you the best of land and sea with beautiful rides to hidden beaches only locals know. Discover Chile’s vibrant coast—then head inland to explore its superlative wine country during a stay at an opulent wine estate at the foothills of the Andes.

New Zealand: The South Island Guided Tour: From the door of your lovely beachfront hotel, it’s just a few yards to the azure shores of the Tasman Sea—where you may spot seals and porpoises playing in the surf. Cycle the West Coast Wilderness Trail, discover the wilds of Lake Moeraki with a local naturalist, and explore the stunning scenery of the Okarita Lagoon. With the South Island’s unrivaled environmental diversity, you’ll even have the opportunity to visit a glacier and the beach in the same day!

The Great American Seaside

Georgia & Florida: Jekyll Island & St. Augustine Guided Tour: See why the sunny shores of Georgia and Florida have been attracting beach lovers for generations. This splendid cycling tour of the southern seaboard uncovers the rich history of Florida’s oldest city, reveals the saltmarshes of Simpson Creek during a guided kayaking excursion, and gives you time to relax and enjoy the pristine beaches at Anastasia State Park.

Maine: Acadia National Park Guided Tour: For a summer beach vacation, nothing beats Maine’s Acadia National Park. VBT’s new fleet of gravel bikes are perfect for pedaling the car-free carriage trails of Mount Desert Island—stopping at scenic beaches and picnic spots along the way. Here, you’ll discover lonesome lighthouses, explore quaint fishing villages, and experience the up-beat atmosphere of Bar Harbor’s many restaurants and fine boutiques.

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