Costa Brava was our 20th VBT bike ride, and, once again, was an excellent mix of cycling and cultural immersion…precisely why we keep coming back. Basque and Catalunyan culture were evident throughout, overlaid with the artistic influences of Dali and Gaudi, among others. Riding through the apple orchards and sunflower fields was relaxing yet exhilarating at the same time. Food was a true delight throughout, and inexpensive, yet superb Spanish wines were always available. Lodging was very comfortable with ideal locations. Guides Martin and ET were typically up to VBT’s extremely high standards. The Barcelona pretrip and Mallorca posttrip were well worth the time, and may have been too short!
Spain: Girona & Costa Brava Reviews
A Classic Mix
annette47, Lisle, IL, United States
Costa Brava in September
A+ to our guides, Carlos and Itzy! They were fun, attentive,professional and made our trip amazing!
B- to trip to biking portion of trip: Route instructions were confusing and our group got lost a lot. Also, the general consensus was this was not an easy trip. Day 1 and 2 had some significant hills. Also, the name “Costa Brava” led most of us to believe that we would be riding along the coast, when in fact we rode through farmland and on streets with traffic. (much more so than any other bike trip I have taken)
A- for Hotels. All of the hotels during the bike trip were AMAZING with the exception of the hotel on the Post Trip in Mallorca, The Saratoga, which was located in a very busy part of the city and was a glamorized Motel 6. Beds were uncomfortable, decor was shabby, there was no concierge, the pool area was sparse…but the breakfast was good.
The post trip to Mallorca was very disappointing. Everyone who went had the impression that Mallorca was blue waters, beautiful beaches and resort style. Unfortunately, we were in the middle of the city in a busy area of Palma. Im not sure why we weren’t in a hotel along the beach, which seems logical for a post trip.I did visit the beach area on the city side of the island and there were many lovely beach type hotels. Post trip was completely not worth it.
This was my 5th VBT bike trip and half the group had also been on many VBT trips and half the group were first timers (the people I brought) Our group was great…very friendly and cohesive and our guides were so delightful! The cultural aspect was good….walking tour in Girona and a visit to Dali’s castle, also the tour of the Dali museum…both our guides were fantastic and these were highlights of the trip. I also enjoyed that we seemed to have a little more time the end of each day of ridingnto enjoy our hotel or the town that we were in…the pace was a little more relaxing. Harvest had already happened so the landscape and view weren’t as nice…everything was dry and brown and cut. (early Sept) so I think springtime may be better for a prettier ride. This just wasn’t my favorite bike trip…I think they need to tweak a few things for next year.
sarahphx, Phoenix, AZ, United States
our first disappointing vbt trip
i have to agree with everything another reviewer (sarah) has written about her experience on the costa brava trip. this was our 5th european vacation with vbt, and unlike all of the other trips we’ve taken with vbt we were disappointed with this trip, primarily due to the biking. our trip leaders (itzy and martin) were very good and a pleasure to work with. we really enjoyed the company of all of our fellow travelers (like we always do). the walking tour of girona and the guided tours of the Dali museum and castle were very good. the hotels in both barcelona and girona were great. the hotel for the last 3 nights had a great location (right on the water) but unfortunately our a/c did not work at all (despite maintenance checking it out) which resulted in 2 more or less sleepless nights (and we were not the only ones with a/c issues).
as for the riding : first, i agree with sarah that the first 2 days had some fairly long (though gradual) climbs…in both my wife’s opinion and my own those days alone should have led to the trip being labeled as easy/moderate…definitely not easy. more concerning is that the majority of the biking was on paved heavily trafficked roads. at times both of us were nervous due to the amount of cars on the road and the speed at which they were traveling. the scenery may have been much nicer in the spring, but in september the fields were brown and the scenery quite plain and boring. like sarah we had (wrongly) assumed that a lot of our biking experience would take place along the coast; turned out we spent approximately 30 minutes riding along the coast on our last biking day, and that was it. there were in addition some logistical aspects of the trip that we both felt could stand improvement.
in summation we had a nice time on our vacation, enjoyed getting to know our
fellow travelers, and enjoyed our first trip to barcelona very much. but our disappointment in the biking was such that we could not in all honesty recommend this trip to others (in its current state).
josephjb, California, United States
Not an "Easy" ride
The bike trip was listed as “Easy” but it was anything but. Most of the time, we biked on heavily traveled main roads with a lot of fast moving traffic and narrow bike lanes. The route was hilly the first couple days with 20-30mph headwinds. Most of the farms we passed had dead or dying vegetation, the apple farms were the exception. I was under the impression that we would be biking along the Mediterranean, in reality we had maybe a 20 minute ocean view ride. What I most enjoyed were visiting the Gaudi buildings in Barcelona and the Dali castle and museum. All the hotels were beautiful and had pools that were refreshing after a day of biking. Most were centrally located so we could explore the town. The last hotel in Costa Brava had the most problems – the air conditioner didn’t work during our visit, the wi-fi was terrible, and the final dinner was less than satisfactory, but swimming in the Mediterranean was the highlight. The biking portion of this trip needs to be reviewed with a strong focus on BIKER SAFETY! We have been on seven with VBT, and I would not recommend this trip.
Response from: Customer Service
Thank you for your feedback, our tour designers are currently reviewing some of the routes for 2017 in regards to highly trafficked areas.
BeckyB, SF-Bay Area
A beautiful ride in every way
There is so much to report about this VBT trip. The accommodations were superb, the many included meals were wonderful, the scenery was bright and beautiful and the riding was quite easy. We spent three days on the Mediterranean, which was a bonus and the non-biking fun of our days in Barcelona and Girona was wonderful. Probably the best part of the trip was our interaction with our guides, Martin and Itsy, who constantly went beyond expectations to provide us with a great trip. This was the first year for this trip so some of the instructions need improvement and some of the riders wold like less busy road time, but I wasn’t particularly bothered. This was our ninth triip, and it assured that we will be signing up for another trip next year,
vines 368, Chicago, IL, United States
Highlights of the trip:
– Delightful guides, Itziar, and Martin….informative, fun, attentive.
– Guided tours of Girona, Dali’s Pubol Castle, and the Dali Museum.
– Wonderful accommodations……2 nights in a hilltop castle, and 3 nights in a spa
hotel on the Mediterranean Sea/beach, with sunrise views from my room. Took
advantage of a massage after my last day of cycling…..at a special VBT rate.
– Cycling into medieval villages (Pals, Peratallada, Verges, Torroella de Montgri ,
– Free time between cycling, and dinner to explore the area….one afternoon, I
walked the beach from our seaside hotel to Sant Marti, a nearby medieval village.
– Sampling the local food and wines. Cava with fellow cyclists, after cycling the killer
hill up to our castle hotel……with beautiful poolside views of the valley.
– Some areas with busy traffic
– Many of the farmlands were dried out this last week of Sept. Only one of the
sunflower fields was still in bloom.
– Would have liked more time cycling by the coast/sea.
– Poor wifi connection at seaside spa hotel.
JaneV, Rhode Island
What a treat to travel through the Catalonia countryside on a bicycle! The tiny towns, the farms, the apples, and the castles were lovely. And then there was the Mediterranean – so blue and beautiful. The local food and wine was delicious and reasonably priced. And Girona was a great place to begin the tour. It is a city I will visit again.
shoreylj, Harrisburg, PA, United States
This is my fifth trip with VBT, and it was wonderful. Our leaders were Oriol and Carlos and they were both wonderful. Because of a recent back injury, I had to ride in the van for two of the riding days, but that enabled me to get to know the leaders better.
The scenery was spectacular — especially on the Costa Brava — the final stop. I loved stopping to walk around the medieval villages — so picturesque.
Marguerite — our local guide was very knowledgeable and it was always a delight to see her again (the walking tour of Girona, Gala’s castle, the Dali Museum).
The four days I did bike were great. The last two were especially easy — very flat. For the most part, the biking was on quiet roads with little traffic. When there was a lot of traffic, the cars were very respectful of the bikes, and passed carefully.
Beth W, Sterling, VA, United States
A Journey of Contrasts
The Costa Brava bike program provided a wonderful overview of a spectacular region of Spain. Our pre-trip in Barcelona allowed time to absorb the architectural wonders of Gaudi, see a great concert of Spanish Guitar music at the Palace (Palau) of Catalan Music and just generally get acclimated to the unique and traditional Spanish bio-clock of eating and shopping.
I enjoyed Girona immensely and will return. I can see why it is the new filming venue for the Game of Thrones series. Make sure to take the time to walk the Roman wall above the City.
The cycling and the activities offered lots of diversity (we biked to a lake, through gentle hillsides, farm country, ancient Medieval villages and on to the sea).
I found the selection of hotels to be perfect. From the luxury of our Barcelona Hotel (just steps from Barcelona’s Las Ramblas) to a hilltop castle and on to a seaside resort steps from both ancient Greek and Roman ruins and the Mediterranean.
I especially enjoyed our morning cruise and Margarita’s tour of Gala’s Castle and the Dali Museum. Her thoughtful insights brought the museum’s to life.
There are stretches of riding on busy roads with no shoulder that can be unsettling. And, I agree with other commenters that (compared to other rides) the rating for this tour is closer to “Easy / Moderate” than “Easy”.
Our hosts Oriol and Carlos were perfectly organized.
Arizona Architect, Phoenix, AZ, United States
Excellent Guide Mararetta leading several tours
Oriol and Carlos very good team. First time they worked together
Fantastic! Riding, Views, Accommodations! People!
We had a wonderful experience with this trip! The accommodations were the best ever! Loved being on the water and in a castle – all such unique experiences! Loved riding through all the medieval villages and the lush countryside! The cultural side trips were awesome to see the Dali House and Museum, especially after riding through the inspired landscapes!!! Would definitely recommend this for everyone!
This was our first trip with VBT and it was more than we expected!! We are looking forward to many more trips!
Pam36, Ocean Grove, NJ
Great trip, not great rides
Our fifth VBT trip. The hotels were great, the guides fantastic, but the rides definitely need improving. The tour is rated easy, well it is not easy, too many hills and far too many busy roads with fast moving traffic. An easy ride attracts less competent riders, not ready for high speed traffic. All else was great.
Response from: Customer Service
Thanks for your 4 star review and the constructive feedback. Our trip design team has changed some of the cycling routes for 2017 departures to more accurately reflect the rating.
JoeSRQ, Sarasota, FL, United States
Wonderful time on Costa Brava!
We had a really good time. We’re average bikers and had no real problems with the terrain. The leaders were fantastic, very friendly and helpful. The side trips were vert interesting.
Fun in Catalunya
Leaders Jorge and Itziar had to deal with a flood interrupting a tight schedule, a breakout of illness within the group, and rainy/muddy days, but always maintained their bright attitudes, composure, and competence.
Great food, accommodations, Spanish people.
We loved the country, the food, the tour guides, and the hotel accommodations. Spain is wonderful.
KathyB, Millersville, MD, United States
We had a wonderful VBT tour 30 yrs ago with our children and now retired, we still choose to do active vacations. With friends’ suggestion we signed up again with VBT. This was one of the finest trips we have ever taken! The hotels were spectacular, as well as their ideal locations. The tour leaders always put a smile on our face, were knowledgable and most helpful. The bikes were terrific and riding in such beautiful scenery was exhilarating. We enjoyed the variety of learning experiences which were beyond the descriptions. Planning our next trip with VBT!
mama llama, Marcellus, MI
A Perfect VBT Trip
After some 16 trips with VBT, my group of “Old Ladies” looks for trips that we can do physically in places we love to learn about. Spain’s Costa Brava was an excellent choice. The main reason this trip was so wonderfully memorable was due to the group leaders, Andrea and Oriol. These two amazing people provided us with anything and everything to give us a perfectly enjoyable and stress-free experience. It was as though Andrea and Oriol knew what we needed or wanted before we even thought it. We feel in love with the two of them. Each day they provided an additional activity that added to the enjoyment and/or educational aspect of being in Spain. Stand outs were the Sagrada Familia and Dali Museum. Five Star all the way.
Golden Girl, Atlanta, GA
fabulous first time tour
We had been thinking of doing a bicycle tour for so long and I finally got it together to book the Costa Brava tour in Spain. Turns out we got the last 2 spots available and I feel so lucky because the trip was super amazing in every way. The lodging, the food, the places we visited, our incredible guides, Carlos and Itziar who took such good care of us and taught us so much about the area. We could not ask for anything more from a tour group. We will definitely do another trip and I can’t wait to plan one. By the way, my husband and I are active in our late 60s and we felt like kids at camp. Thank you VBT and a special thank you for our beautiful guides Carlos and Itzy. You made our trip incredibly special.
Arlynn, Tabernacle NJ
Wonderful experience, educational, charming !
We did the pre and post trips and therefore had an experience full of learning – from Barcelona, through the Costa Brava countryside, all the way to Mallorca. A magical, educational time, full of charming villages, gorgeous places to stay and delectable regional cuisine. Our group and our group leaders were outstanding. I would give the trip a 4 1/2 star rating only because too much of the biking was on roads with traffic. Otherwise, I would have awarded a five star rating.
Response from: Customer Service
Thank you for your excellent review. Feedback from our guests, leaders and operations team have allowed us to revamp the rides and our guests are now enjoying the improvements we have made.
Sally72, Lexington, MA, United States
Great family trip
Every aspect of this trip was outstanding; the guides were particularly splendid.
It was a perfect trip for me to share with my two sons who accompanied me.
Fabulous seaside hotel
It’s taken me a while to write a review of this trip early last September. We really look back on it very favorably. Being the first year offered trip, there were a few items which I feel will be addressed in the future: it’s really not an easy ride, should be rated easy/moderate, but, as usual, the guides gave those of us who got tired rides.
I think an unfortunate heat wave did not help, but that is not something VBT can control. The hot weather did give us a chance to swim at every hotel pool and the highlight, to me, was the 3 nights at the seaside in a wonderful hotel. The opportunity to see many famous art locales in Barcelona, as well as two Dali museums was also a plus. As always, the guides, Itziar and Martin were fabulous.
This was our 4th European VBT tour, and I feel it would appeal to many.
Response from: Customer Service
Thank you for your excellent review. Feedback from our guests, leaders and operations team have allowed us to revamp the rides and our guests are now enjoying the improvements we have made.
tejasmom, Dallas, TX, United States
Fantastic trip leaders are the icing on the cake for this trip. Cycling is easy as long as there’s no wind; cultural activities are fun and interesting. Love the off-the-beaten-track location and lodgings — a castle, a beach resort next door to 2500 year old ruins, and an urban hotel with a long family history.
Lovely part of Spain - Don't miss it.
Oriole and Juan Carlos are excellent guides and delightful people to talk with during the non-bike riding parts. It sounds like the itinerary has been changed from last fall; we had mostly beautiful country roads going through and around small medieval Spanish villages and none of the busy roads that others mentioned in earlier posts. The e-bike was terrific. I felt somewhat guilty enjoying the slight uphills which were a breeze. It’s possible to break a sweat or not on this trip with an e-bike. We did stay in the upgraded Mas de Torrent Hotel & Spa and it was beautiful. For both nights that we were there, we had a very special tasting menu that was spectacular. I don’t know how it compared to the castle though so can’t address the worth of the upgraded cost. Was so glad we not only got to see the Dali Museum in Fuertes but also Dali’s Castell (Gala’s castle) in Pubol. The boat tour on the last day around the Costa Brava was also spectacular.
NancyP, Arlington VA
Beautiful Place to ride bikes
Girona and beyond are the perfect place to ride and take in Costa Brava Spain culture. The weather is perfect, the roads are bike friendly and the landscape is beautiful. The accommodations were top notch. Though I feel the last hotel, Hostal Spa Empuries is a tired old hotel which could be replaced. The location is great, on the beach but the rooms and restaurant is nothing to brag about.
There needs to be longer ride options on this tour. I know it is rated easy, but it is not difficult to supply longer riding options. My wife and I used our Google map / directions to ride further than the daily course. There should be extra options.
The boat ride along the coast was excellent.
I would also recommend taking advantage of the Pyrenees Mountains and spend at least one day riding in the foothills of them.
We enjoyed the trip and would recommend it to others.
ras831, Washington, D.C., DC, United States
Wonderful Spain, beautiful Costa Brava
The second week of June and the weather was very hot. Hotel 1898 in Barcelona is great. Room, bed, bathroom, roof top pool and bar, and location. Girona is a small cute city, with a couple of very good restaurants. The walking tour was good. Warm-up ride around a small lake was also very good and cooling. The routes on this tour are okay, we seemed to be traveling over the same roads a lot. Scenery is flat in
many areas, not too many hills to break up some of the longer flat portions. The guides Oriol and Martin were always smiling, happy, fun to be with, good people, who always had a story to tell, and both were full of energy. The other people were active, fun to be with, and very nice. All hotels were good except the last two. Castell d Emporda and Hostal Spa Empuries, are exceptional. The Castell d Emporda is an old castle high up on a hill with fabulous views, pool, bar, restaurant, wonderful. Hostal Spa Empuries is right on the Med with a great restaurant, rooms, bar, location, just terrific.We are a couple and enjoyed ourselves on this tour. Oriol and Martin our guides are very good.
Corvette01, Greenbrae, California
You have to do this!
I wasn’t sure I would be able to do this ride. But I had no problem at all. I used an e-bike and kept up the group and had a ball! Everyone on the ride was wonderful and fun to be with. If you aren’t sure you might be up for a ride thru Spain, think again. Anyone can do it using an e-bike. I can’t wait to do my next trip!! Hum, where shall I go?
Linder, San Francisco, CA, United States
VBT never disappoints. This was my 4th trip with VBT and it was fantastic. Our guides Oriol and Martin were outstanding. Loved the visit to the Dali Museum and came away with a new appreciation for his work. The landscapes were beautiful and the visit to the cider company was fun. The post trip in Mallorca was a pleasure.
Jerry 641, Denver, CO, United States
Catalonia is enchanting
Great guides, good bike routes, yummy meals, liked the hotels, loved the extras – museums, farms.
Everything was fantastic from the best tour guides – Itsi and Oriol – to the scenery, hotels, food – everything!
Great Trip wonderful area to bike would rate it moderate not easy many longer hills to be easy. Other the rating wonderful guides they very attentive and caring. Great lodging and great food
dhl503, Sunriver, OR, United States
Costa Brava was fantastic
I went with a group of sisters and a friend- this trip was wonderful.
Laura50, Iowa City, Iowa
Another wonderful trip to Spain
I loved the Costa Brava trip. It highlighted the unique features of the area of Catalonia as well as its native son Salvador Dali. Food, wine and leaders were excellent as usual
acmeans, Madison, WI, United States
Fabulous tour guides and scenery
My husband and I enjoyed the cycling through the rolling hills. We were happy that we had the E Bikes. The organization of the rides and the rest stops were perfectly coordinated.
Rowie, Long Beach, NY, United States
Great tour leaders-Gorge and Andrea. Enjoyed the farm house,picnic lunches and visit to the apple orchard with cider tasting.
Spain's Costa Brava
Loved the trip except I was disappointed in the rides as they were not long enough each day. Also did not like the amount of bus transfers to ride sites. Too much time on the bus and not enough on the bikes. Our guides were perfect. Martin and Javier were professional but fun.
The best yet!
My husband surprised me with this trip for our 15 year anniversary. Which our two wonderful guides actually knew and had a cake for us! It was our 4th VBT trip and the best yet. It was a chairman trip, but since Greg Marston had retired, they sent Chris Shilling in his place. What a delightful , fun guy he Is! It was so great to talk to him and learn how trips are conceived and come to fruition. Such a nice guy too!
Our guides Javi and Oriele, were off the chart. Always surprising us with treats and stories and knowledge of their homeland. So much fun to be with. I believe they went out of their way, and did things on their own to make the trip better.
All the inns and hotels were superb, and well located, and the food was fantastic too. So glad we were biking and walking everyday.
Kim and Marguerite were wonderful guides for our city and museum tours. Marguerite’s knowledge of Dali’s life and art was amazing!
Thoroughly enjoyable, and the countryside and coast were so beautiful! Would recommend this trip in a heartbeat.
Sciascia, Long Beach, CA, United States
Unbelievably great trip !
We frankly had some doubts whether or not to take this trip before signing up as we knew little about the Costa Brava. We were “blown away” by the beauty of the area, the people, the history and the art of the region. Some have referred to Costa Brava as the Tuscany of Spain, but having cycled both with VBT, CB takes top honors – and that’s no small praise as I love Tuscany! Likewise, my only exposure to the art of Dali prior to this visit was seeing some of his work in the art galleries ubiquitous to the resort towns of Hawaii, Mexico and the Caribbean. Since I wasn’t a fan of his work (boy, has that changed!) the opportunity to visit his art museum and Gala’s home didn’t excite me. However, the guide VBT had for us at both places was an expert on Dali’s work and a great teacher. I came away in awe of Dali’s art and very glad VBT included this in with the bicycling. I won’t elaborate on our two VBT cycling guides other than to say they were fun, engaging, helpful to a fault, and simply delightful men with whom I’d take another bike trip in a heartbeat. Just what one expects, and gets, on VBT tours. The biking rating is Easy and it is, perfect for first timers who might be hesitant of whether or not they can do 18-25 miles a day. VBT has a lot tours but this is one to put at the top of your list.
Ron in Seattle, Seattle, WA, United States
The Costa Brava trip was delightful in every way, great tours, guides and dinners.
Lorinda, Steamboat Springs, CO, United States
Lots of Fun and Culture
Trip #10 with another great group, with fabulous leaders! Oriel and Javi made everything easy and fun; Chris made the trip especially memorable. Dali Museums and Boat Ride were cultural highlights. Lodging on the Mediterranean was spectacular.
ajroveg, NJ, United States
Brilliant because of the LEADERS
Our trip was OUTSTANDING because of Andrea and Oriol. They are GREAT HUMAN BEINGS who need to rule the world. On top of that, the trip was a pleasure to be a part of because of the excellent itinerary, beautiful countryside, and the passion of the people who we were introduced to. I highly recommend this trip for singles, couples, families, and people who just need to feel needed. Loved it!
Costa Brava Tour? Surpassed Expectations!
We are 60 years young and have taught overseas for over 20 years. We’ve travelled with Family, with friends and on our own. Because our Spring Break was in late March, early Spring, we Googled bike tours in Europe and this one came up. It sounded perfect. From meeting our tour guides, Andrea and Oriol that first night in stunning Girona to our final farewell in L’Escala, these two were amazing. Flawless English and Spanish, they communicated every detail with professionalism and with kindness. They thought of every detail with healthy snacks charmingly set up en route in both morning and afternoon, taking care to keep us warm, safe, and engaged! From the “tricky turns” to the daily routes, our daily meetings ensured we each knew the plans both on paper and with a very efficient GPS system on our phones sent ahead of time by VBT to download and to access offline each day. The daily routes were varied and sumptuous to the eye. Meals were out of this world delicious and the hotels were exquisite from castles to seaside. Boat rides, apple farms, local lunches at a family home with plenty of time to catch a nap or visit on our own, we whole-heartedly recommend this Costa Brava trip and we thank our diligent, fun-loving and knowledgeable tour guides, Andrea and Oriol who made it so amazing for each of us. They are gems.
AhneCR, Dubai, UAE
Cycling, country and comaraderie--perfection!
I love Spain, cycling and learning so this tour was perfect for me! The guides were genial and seemed to read minds answering questions, riding side by side and providing genuine friendship and caring. This region of Spain is captivating and we were able to learn so very much about Cataluna from Dali’s art to rice, apple and onion specialties. The excellent cycling opportunities on routes that were fun, picturesque and safe made me excited to get up and do more riding every day. This was my 4th VBT Cycling trip and will not be my last! Thank YOU/muchas gracias for caring for your guests so very well!
Spanish Teacher Pat, Colorado Springs, CO, USA
Fabulous vacation on a bicycle!
Wow, what a wonderful experience! This was my first VBT tour but it will not be my last! This trip was all about discovery for me. Discovering beautiful countryside, fantastic people, amazing culture, an enjoyment of cycling, and a love of Spain and travel! The older reviews that describe busy street routes are no longer relevant—VBT changed the routing last year and I felt completely safe at all times. We were winding through beautiful countryside on well paved roads but only saw the occasional car for the most part. Costa Brava is actually a huge cycling area (professional cyclists train here year round because of how great the pavement and opportunities are), so motorists are extremely cautious and respectful. The tour itself was a nice mix of history, cuisine, cycling, rest and relaxation, museums, and time to explore the areas on your own (although our group had great camaraderie so we often ended up together enjoying each others’ company in addition to the beautiful locations.
A great time!
My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed the VBT Costa Brava trip. The biking itinerary was clearly written and well planned. We are confident traveling in Europe after living there many years, however, we believe it is safer and certainly more convenient to bike with a reputable group tour. VBT offers a high quality experience which we can recommend without hesitation.
NWOCapeCod, Cape Cod, MA, United States
Everyone says their trip is the best. This was beyond best. I had little expectations of the trip and I was so perfectly surprised! I should have had more faith in VBT. As usual : a perfect, picturesque, pleasant package! Linda Gadkowski
Momar, Cape Cod, MA, USA
#1 There are direct flights available from Boston. We went first to London – 3 hour layover which we needed because we needed time to get from here to there by moving sidewalk and buses. Heathrow is very busy and apparently unable to keep up with volume of travelers.
#1 I had a road bike. Last trip I had a bag on a rack attached only to the seat stem which worked just fine. This year I had a teeny tiny bag under the seat which held almost nothing. We were given lunches on our first day to carry with us for later. I tied the bag to my handlebar. Andrea said it wasn’t safe and put it in her back pack. I wore sleeves in the morning because it was cool. I had to tie my sleeves to the handlebars when I no longer needed them. If you are only going to provide that bag, perhaps a handlebar would be a good addition. I prefer not like to ride with a backpack.
Response from: Guest Services
Thank you for your 5 star review! Your feedback and suggestions are greatly appreciated and have been shared with our team.
Cruise Costa Brava by bicycle!
This was our sixth bicycle trip and the second with VBT. Once again, your strength is the local leaders. They endeavored to give us historical background, as well as trio tips. Lovely biking through rural countryside.
Crystal Magnet, Washington, DC
Great balance between bicycling & cultural events
Delightful time that went too fast and luckily was without mechanical problems. Had excellent local trip leaders and a great mix of talents among those taking the trip. While would have liked more bicycling time, schedule was filled with visiting two Dali museums accompanied with two well informed guides; a site adjacent to our hotel that enabled us to walk through a fine museum & the extensive remains of a 7th Century BC Greek & later Roman city being excavated by archaeologists; & a farm developing new methods for growing apples, as well as touring with guide the Medieval city of Girona where the US Tour de France team trains during the spring and fall & enjoying an interesting boat tour along the Costa Brava coast.
Denn, Washington, DC, United States
Costa Brava, Spain was surprisingly beautiful. Our first days were spent in Girona, a lovely and well-preserved medieval city. I was particularly excited to learn that many scenes from game of Thrones were filmed there. I could just picture Arya running for her life down the stepped streets of the city. I loved cycling past vineyards, olive groves, farms, and the Mediterranean Sea. A particular highlight was the day they bused us into the Pyrenees, and we essentially coasted downhill for 10 kilometers.
Martin S, Washington, D.C.
The view from the handlebars had everything: Beautiful vistas with flowers ,snowcapped mountains, hilltop castles, ancient stone villages, even the seashore. Nearly all the biking was on bike paths or quiet,narrow country lanes. Learning about the Dalis was weird and wonderful too.
cliff portman, Seattle, WA, United States
Scenery, riding history, art, food - it has it all
This was one of the best VBT tours we have taken. Food, riding, scenery, exploration of the art of Dali, wonderful guides and fantastic accommodations. Pre-trip in Barcelona is a must do to see the Gaudi architecture and Picasso museum as well as experience Catalonia at its best.
mecrr, Red Bluff, CA, United States
Many delightful surprises
We have been doing VBT tours for almost 30 years and VBT has never failed to delight. This tour had many surprises. We didn’t know the range of Dali’s personna, we didn’t realize that Mallorca was so large and varied, we didn’t know what a delight the ebikes were. If you are a casual cyclist, try the ebike for more enjoyment than ever!
olbiddy, Pittsburgh, PA, United States
Really Fantastic in every way.
The country was beautiful and the rides were scenic. The guides were very nice and knowledgeable. Everything was handled smoothly and it made us feel we were being treated like VIPs.
The only thing I would mention is that often on VBT rides and rides with other companies, there is no effort to stop along the way to see something that is part of an ancient ruin, or is archeologically significant. You hit all the major ruins and important sites but sometimes there is an old church or dolmen (archeological stone formation) just off the main road and it is not mentioned as something to stop and look at if we are interested. I did stop and look at a dolmen at the risk of holding up others but it is something that I am sure others would want to have the option to see. I showed some group members my photos of what I saw and they seemed interested in it.
Anyway, that would be my only suggestion for you. Everything else was really great.
Response from: Guest Services
Thank you for this excellent constructive feedback!
We loved this trip! The scenery, the biking routes, the guides, the accommodations were all fanatastic. We liked the other guests, the fabulous breakfasts and particularly loved our post trip to Mallorca.
Bets70, St. Louis, MO
Great Trip - Well Organized
Very pleased with my first VBT trip. I’ll definitely do another. Every detail was taken care of, our two tour guides were awesome. It was like having a bike caddy, all we had to do is ride!
LarryNC, Raleigh, NC, USA
A perfect trip!
Our trip to the Costa Brava couldn’t have been any more perfect. Even the weather co-operated which obviously VBT can’t control.
The scenery was beautiful, the roads very good, the side trips interesting, the food delicious, and the other travelers interesting and fun.
Our guides, Jave and Orieol, were so knowledgeable about the area and history since they both lived in the area and they did everything in their power to ensure every detail was covered. And so friendly.
The other tour guide, Margaurite, was also extremely professional and guided us through crowded museums with ease and informed us fully .
Mars, Denver, CO, United States
Enjoyed the bike ride, the small cities and towns, the archeological site at Empires and the trip leaders. A delightful corner of Spain.
Don Ricardo, Salt Lake City, UT, USA
Terrific diverstiy of scenery and cultural sights.
Our 7th trip and this might be tops, but they are all so good. This trip is easy and we are so glad we did not order eBikes (we are 79 and 82). Our guides were terrific and the trip is planned so there is time for art (Dali two places),Greek and Roman ruins, swimming in the Mediterranean Sea, walking the coast, seeing the Costa Brava from the sea, and exploring the old city of Girona as well as an introduction to Barcelona, where we stayed on for a week in an apartment. Hotels were great too.
Suzanne and Rich, Salt Lake City, UT, USA
A Complete Package
Our favorite VBT trip to date. The cultural experience rivaled the well planned cycling routes. Time spent on and off the bicycle created lasting memories for joyful reflection.
Pavel, Lynchburg, VA, USA
Best Bike Trip Ever!
This was a perfect trip…Seamless. My 8th VBT bicycling trip and all were good but this one was exceptional because our leaders were exceptional. Great biking, great cultural events and guided tours, wonderful food, very cohesive group of 22 guests who really liked each other every single day. Bravo Javi and Andrea..I hope we meet again!
Laurie13, Croton-on-Hudson, NY, USA
VBT Continues to Deliver
It starts with the guides and they deliver on a continuous basis. Andrea and Javier (Javi) are excellent at delivering the experience promised by VBT and go above and beyond to make it all work and make sure you are happy. There are always glitches along the way, mostly created by the guests. They work tirelessly and effectively to solve every problem.
Like all the other trips (we have done many). It’s so much more than the wonderful biking. The farm visit to the apple orchard is amazing. Who knew so much science and technology are needed to be successful in this day and age. They explained why more than 150 apples stresses the trees and produce inferior apples. They showed us the technology they use to eliminate excess blooms. The resultant apples, juices and ciders are wonderful.
The enjoyment of our visit to the Dali museum was magnified many times over by the enthusiasm and knowledge of Kim, our guide. I had no idea how many elements were in each Dali painting and how his mind worked.
Abie, New Jersey