Posts Tagged ‘Bike Tours Direct’

Bike Mexico’s Mayan Historical Sites on ‘End of the World’ Adventure Tour

August 15, 2012

The Mayan calendar ends this December 21, and now travelers can ride to the heart of the intrigue of this once-in-a-lifetime event and its local celebrations. Bike Mexico’s Mayan Riviera while exploring local culture, natural wonders, and ancient archaeological sites on a multi-sport adventure. © 2012 Karen Rubin/

Apocalypse soon? According to some interpretations of the Mayan calendar, the world will end on December 21. Travelers can ride to the heart of the intrigue—and experience once-in-a-lifetime celebrations—during the “Riviera Maya Bike Adventure: End of the World Edition,” departing December 15, 2012. Bike Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula while exploring Mayan history, local culture, and rich ecological attractions, with convenient booking and payment through BikeToursDirect.

Mayan prophecy foretells that 2012 will bring the end of the world as we know it, or perhaps the beginning of a new cycle – an era of heightened awareness. These varied interpretations will be discussed and Mayan culture explored during this special edition Mexico bike tour, adapted from the popular Riviera Maya Cycling Adventure program.

“Riviera Maya is a fantastic region to visit any time for its white-sand beaches, delicious food, archeological sites, and friendly people, but this December will be a unique time of celebration. Travelers will be able to enjoy local flavor and customs at the many festivals and ceremonies marking this long-anticipated date,” said Jim Johnson, president of BikeToursDirect.

Starting December 15, 2012, this Mexico bike tour has a multi-sport itinerary, including cycling the Yucatan Peninsula from the jungle to the thatched-roof villages of the contemporary Mayan World. Travelers will explore the prominent archaeological sites of Tulum, Coba, Chichen Itza and Muyil as each of these ancient cities’ history and mysteries are discovered.

Guided by local ecologists, guests will cycle through this tropical paradise, averaging a leisurely 30 miles per day. Beyond cycling, this multi-sport adventure also includes hiking (including a crocodile-watching night hike), kayaking, swimming and snorkeling. Travelers will explore the 1.6 million-acre Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve and snorkel in the world’s second largest coral reef.

Educational evening programs will include lectures on ecology, Mayan culture and the Mayan calendar. Guests are encouraged to discuss their thoughts and interpretations of ancient Mayan beliefs and will also experience a Mayan purification ritual.

“The end of the world, or the start of a new cycle, is an opportunity to evaluate what’s most important in life. Our guides and lecturers hope to evoke this kind of reflection as guests explore the history, culture, and natural wonders of the Yucatan,” said Kenneth Johnson of Cancun-based trip operator EcoColors Tours.

Land cost starts at $1,515 and includes accommodations, most meals, cycling equipment, bilingual guides and entrance fees for all non-cycling activities. Airfare to Cancun must be booked separately. For travelers unable to join the “End of the World Edition,” additional departures of the similar Riviera Maya Bike Adventure are available, including a special edition family tour in February 2013. For more information or to book a tour, visit or call (877) 462-2423 or (423) 756-8907.

BikeToursDirect serves as a central resource for bicycle tours around the world, representing 75 tour companies that offer more than 300 tours in 60 countries throughout Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and North America. BikeToursDirect offers a variety of resources to help travelers search for and choose tours and handles the entire booking and payment process.

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Top Winter Bicycle Tour Destinations feature Southern Europe, South Africa, New Zealand

October 14, 2011

Biking the Danube Bike Trail, one of BikeToursDirect's most popular offerings. No need to wait to next summer for a bike trip: BikeToursDirect offers 25 with December-February departures in southern Europe, South Africa, New Zealand, Egypt, Vietnam, Thailand and the Islands of Seychelles © 2011 Karen Rubin/

Although a winter chill will cover much of Europe by December, there are still several options for travelers interested in overseas bicycle touring during the winter months. BikeToursDirect offers 25 tours with December-February departures in southern Europe, South Africa, New Zealand, Egypt, Vietnam, Thailand and the Islands of Seychelles.

“In southern Europe, many bicycle tours operate year-round, with Spain being one of the most popular winter destinations,” says BikeToursDirect president Jim Johnson. “As we have expanded our tour offerings to four continents, we’ve added many new tours with year-round departures and some that are primarily available during the winter months.”

Offering fourteen bicycle tours in southern Europe with winter departures, BikeToursDirect provides cycle tourists with a variety of destinations to choose from in France, Italy and Spain. Eleven tours are available in Spain, which spotlight the pristine Andalusia mountains, the medieval villages and Mediterranean coast of Catalonia, the dramatic volcanic landscape of the Canary Islands, the castles and vineyards of Catalan and the island of Majorca.

“Catalonia has a cool but mostly dry winter that is perfect for cycling,” says Daniel Herzberg, Director of Cycling and Walking Holidays, Creative Catalonia, a BikeToursDirect tour partner. “The days are often sunny with daytime temperatures in the 60s that are ideal for cycling. Our Medieval Villages cycling tour is very popular as it encompasses such a fantastic variety of sights along the route that range from exploring the beautiful medieval city of Girona, the stunning coastal bays of the Costa Brava, as well as cycling through the timeless medieval villages of the region.”

For advanced cyclists, Hertzberg adds that Girona’s Best Road Riding Tours (both point to point as well as based in one hotel with daily loop tours) are popular for cyclists who don’t want to lose form on the bike over the cold winter back home.

While North Americans and many Europeans are enduring the winter, south-of-the-equator destinations are in full-blown summer. BikeToursDirect offers several bicycle tours in South Africa with year-round departures, including the “South African Cycle Safari” and “Cape Town and Winelands” tours, which are operated by locally-based Bike & Saddle, one of BikeToursDirect’s new tour partners.

“South Africa offers amazing opportunities for cycling year-round,” says Ben Sanders, Director of Business Development for Bike & Saddle. “We offer exclusive Cycle Safaris on private game reserves with a ranger guide showcasing the sights and sounds of the bush. We run authentic township tours through South Africa’s informal settlements and tailor-made wine tours through the various Cape Winelands. We run a Culinary Cycle Tour, themed on gourmet food and wine, and we are involved in various conservation initiatives, including a cheetah rehabilitation program.”

Heading a little deeper into the Southern Hemisphere, BikeToursDirect offers four bicycle tours in New Zealand, which feature rainforests, glaciers, mountains, national parks, geothermal spas, islands, caves and volcanoes.

“New Zealand is the perfect winter vacation location because November through March is our summer and the scenery is outstanding, ranging from superb beaches to permanently snow capped mountains, forests to open sheep country—all in an area the same size as Colorado,” says Richard Oddy, Chief Spoke of Pedaltours, a BikeToursDirect tour partner that has operated tours in New Zealand since 1985. “Our most popular tour is our Southern Alps 10-day tour from Christchurch, New Zealand’s second largest city, with a population of 360,000, to Queenstown, the adventure capital of the world.”

Other winter tour options include the Islands of Seychelles in the Indian Ocean; the Nile River Valley in Egypt; the ancient Chiang Mai region of Thailand; and the bustling cities and rural districts of Vietnam. BikeToursDirect will unveil additional winter destination tours for 2012 when it launches a new website this fall.

BikeToursDirect, now in its eighth season, serves as a central resource for bicycle tours in Europe, representing more than 50 tour companies that offer more than 200 tours in 35 European countries and is currently expanding to Asia, Africa and Australia. BikeToursDirect offers a variety of resources to help travelers choose tours and handles the entire booking and payment process. Learn more at Telephone: 1-877-462-2423 or 1-423-756-8907. Email:

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BikeToursDirect expands bike and boat tour offerings to 60 tours in 16 countries for 2012

September 30, 2011

The magnificent scene where the Danube River turns, is one of the wonderful sights on the Danube Bike Trail, between Passau and Vienna. © 2011 Karen Rubin/

Providing unbeatable scenery on land and water, bike and boat tours have become a popular choice for couples, families and groups of friends looking for enriching vacation options in Europe and beyond. BikeToursDirect will expand its bike and boat tour offerings to more than 60 tours in 16 countries for the 2012 season to accommodate growing demand for this unique travel experience.

“Bike and boat tours have become increasingly popular, especially for cycle tourists and families who enjoy the option of rest days and experiencing the ambiance of the boat,” says Jim Johnson, president of BikeToursDirect. “Travelers who aren’t up for cycling each day can participate in a side excursion or choose to enjoy scenery from the deck of the boat. It really is the best of both worlds—and the local cuisine available on board is an added bonus.”

BikeToursDirect offers bike and boat tours in 14 European countries, Vietnam, and the islands of Seychelles, and each tour presents a unique boat experience, ranging from small vessels holding fewer than 25 people (barges, schooners, yachts or converted fishing boats) to small passenger boats holding up to 150 people.

For many, being on a small boat is the biggest appeal of a bike and boat tour because, unlike large cruise ships, they don’t have to worry about crowds or making a connection. Cycle tourists also enjoy meeting people from several countries and seeing a variety of landscapes and places: countryside, islands, mountains, villages and towns.

“Our clients really enjoy the camaraderie they develop with the boat crew and other passengers,” says Johnson. “They also enjoy having a ‘floating hotel’ to return to each evening because they don’t have to pack and unpack every day.”

Another big draw to these tours is the price: over half of the bike and boat tours offered by BikeToursDirect are under $1,200 (with most being one-week, nearly all-inclusive tours). A few of the most popular bike and boat tour destinations include:

  • · Loire Valley (France), which spotlights the most peaceful part of the Loire Valley, passing through vineyards, chateaux, quiet villages and medieval towns.
  • · Venice to Mantua (Italy), which winds along the Mincio and Po rivers through rural, pristine areas of the Italian countryside, ending in the Venetian Lagoon with a full day to explore Venice.
  • · Holland, Northern Tour, which follows the North Sea coast and several canals through marshland, picturesque villages and historic harbor towns.
  • · National Parks of Dalmatia (Croatia), which highlights romantic ruins, charming hills, countless natural phenomena, two national parks and the islands of Central Dalmatia.
  • · Danube Bike Path (Germany and Austria), which runs along well-signed, dedicated, nearly flat bike paths through vineyards and medieval towns, taking travelers from Passau, Germany, to Vienna.

BikeToursDirect Adds Four Continents in 2012 Season

Based on nearly a decade of success with European bicycle tour offerings, U.S.-based BikeToursDirect will add tours in at least 10 new countries on four continents for the 2012 season, including tours in New Zealand, South Africa, Vietnam, Thailand, Mexico and Jordan. BikeToursDirect currently represents over 50 local bicycle tour companies, primarily in Europe, and offers more than 200 tours on its website,

“Europe has long been a top destination for value-oriented bicycle tourists, but local tour companies in other regions of the world also offer unique cycling experiences for riders of varying levels and budgets,” says BikeToursDirect president Jim Johnson. “We decided to expand our tour offerings based on client input and the increasing number of tours available in some of the most exotic and breathtaking locations in the world. We started offering a few tours outside Europe in 2011, and client response has been quite positive.”

Some “test” tours offered in 2011 that will continue and expand in 2012 include “South African Cycle Safari,” which travels along the Cape peninsula through private game reserves, where cyclists can see lions, elephants, leopards, rhinos and other wildlife; bicycle tours in New Zealand, which explore rainforests, glaciers, mountains, islands and more; and four tours in Vietnam, including a two-week bike and boat adventure that explores bustling cities and rural districts. Soon to be added: a Riviera Maya Bike Adventure in Mexico that takes cyclists across the Yucatan peninsula from the jungle to the Caribbean.

Some of these new tours are offered year-round, providing greater flexibility for travel planning.

Unlike many companies, BikeToursDirect doesn’t operate tours but instead represents overseas companies.

“Some of the benefits of working with locally-based tour companies include their knowledge of the local culture and unique sights, frequent tour departures, and ability to tailor tours to fit a client’s specific interests,” says Johnson. “In some developing destinations, it’s also very helpful to have as much of the tour costs stay local.”

Local tour companies can keep their tour prices down due to the lower cost of doing business close to home and to spreading their expenses over a large client base. Clients book tours and make all payments through BikeToursDirect, usually at the same prices charged by the tour companies.

The full roster of new tours for 2012 will be unveiled in November when BikeToursDirect launches a new website. Although 2012 information on existing tours won’t be added until the new site launches, BikeToursDirect already has details on many tours. If you’re eager to book a tour now—or just want to start planning—feel free to contact one of BikeToursDirect’s tour experts about 2012 tours. Visit to complete an inquiry form or call 1-877-462-2423 (toll-free) or 1-423-756-8907 (local and international).

About BikeToursDirect

BikeToursDirect, now in its eighth season, serves as a central resource for bicycle tours in Europe, representing more than 50 tour companies that offer more than 200 tours in 35 European countries and is currently expanding to Asia, Africa and Australia. BikeToursDirect offers a variety of resources to help travelers choose tours and handles the entire booking and payment process. Learn more at Telephone: 1-877-462-2423 or 1-423-756-8907. Email:

Look for coming  features covering the Passau-Danube Bike Tour:

European Wine and Bike Tours Merge Best of Two Worlds

July 30, 2011

Dual interests of biking and wine tasting come together in Tuscany, Italy. Bike Tours Direct serves as a central resource for bicycle tours in Europe, representing more than 50 tour companies that offer more than 200 tours in 35 European countries © 2011 Karen Rubin/

Europe has long been a top destination both for travelers interested in its fine wines and for bicyclists wanting to explore countries at a leisurely pace. Increasingly, travelers are merging those two interests thanks to a growing number of wine and bicycle tours. For travelers interested in experiencing the best of European wines and country roads, BikeToursDirect offers several wine and bike tours in some of the top wine-producing regions of the world.

The trips provide special access to some of the best vineyards and wine cellars and most breathtaking cycling landscapes in the world. Offering dozens of wine and bike tours in 2011, BikeToursDirect works with locally-based tour operators who can provide special access to off-the-beaten-(bike)-path vineyards and producers.

“A wine and bike tour offers both the intimacy of a bike trip and the fun of visiting a vineyard or winery,” says Robert Heiss, co-owner of and a wine and food connoisseur who has participated in several wine and bike tours. “There is nothing like arriving at a vineyard on a bicycle—it makes you feel, just for a moment, as though you might really live in the village down the road and are just stopping by for your regular wine purchase.”

“Another bonus of exploring a region by bicycle: guilt-free dining,” says BikeToursDirect president Jim Johnson. “And nothing goes better with a fine meal than a fine wine!”

With a variety of terrain, food, wine and cycling options, bike tours in Tuscany are a top choice for cycle tourists interested in wine and cuisine. Every tour BikeToursDirect offers in the region spotlights vineyards, wine and food in some way, with several tours that have a more concentrated “wine and bike” focus. Two popular options include the “Tuscany Wine Classic” or “Tuscany’s Crown Jewels” tours, which wind through the enchanting Tuscan landscape, incorporate wine tastings at several vineyards and feature authentic Tuscan food.

“The connection you make with the countryside from the seat of a bicycle can never be replicated in a car,” says Dominick Cerisano, founder of Best Tuscan Tours, LLC and Chief Cycling Officer. “The sights, the smells, the way the Tuscan sun reflects through the vineyards—these are the sensations you can only feel on a bike. Also there are no fines in Italy for cycling after enjoying a few glasses of Chianti. You can’t do that in a car!”

“For cycling wine lovers we provide special access to the best producers both large and small,” says Cerisano. “Our on-staff sommelier can further assist wine connoisseurs with purchasing advice and even assist with expert packaging and shipping right to your home.”

Fine wine is plentiful in France, another top choice, with tours in the Burgundy, Bordeaux, Loire Valley and Provence regions that include visits to some of the best-known wine producers in the world. Bike tours in Provence are especially popular because of the unique regional wines, historic medieval architecture and landscape that inspired artists like Van Gogh, Picasso and Matisse.

Other popular choices include tours along the Mosel, Rhine and Main River Bike Paths in Germany, which feature vineyards at almost every turn.

Hungary, a country not as well known for its fine wines as other countries—due to lower exports rather than lower quality—features “Wine and Bike in Hungary’s Balaton Uplands,” which includes two or more wine-tastings and vineyard visits every day and unlimited wine with dinner!

To help cycle tourists find wine and bike tours that fit their interests, BikeToursDirect offers a “Wine and Bike” page that spotlights several popular tours. BikeToursDirect also has a TourFinder that provides a detailed search of more than 200 tours offered on its website. With just a few quick clicks, a cycle tourist can create a list of tours based on key parameters (such as a wine and bike focus, country and level of difficulty) to help narrow down the search for the perfect wine and bike vacation.

About BikeToursDirect

BikeToursDirect, now in its eighth season, serves as a central resource for bicycle tours in Europe, representing more than 50 tour companies that offer more than 200 tours in 35 European countries and is currently expanding to Asia, Africa and Australia. BikeToursDirect offers a variety of resources to help travelers choose tours and handles the entire booking and payment process. Learn more at Telephone: 1-877-462-2423 or 1-423-756-8907. Email:

For more travel features, visit