Posts Tagged ‘bike tours’

Tuscany Wine and Bike 2014 Wine & Culinary Tours Lets You Savor Wine, Land & History at the Pace of a Bicycle

April 23, 2014
Tuscany Wine and Bike itineraries offer a triple helping of understanding the wine, land and history of Tuscany while experiencing the beauty of an outdoor excursion © 2014 Karen Rubin/

Tuscany Wine and Bike itineraries offer a triple helping of understanding the wine, land and history of Tuscany while experiencing the beauty of an outdoor excursion © 2014 Karen Rubin/

Tuscany Wine and Bike (TWB) announced their new 2014 Wine Tasting & Culinary Biking Tour Itineraries effective April 26, 2014 through September 27, 2014. Led by local freelance oenologist and Winemaker Carlo Travagli and cycling enthusiast Luca Casini, TWB tours trek on mountain bikes across the provinces of Siena, Firenze, Pisa and Pistoia through the scenic, historic Chianti Wine Region of Tuscany.

“Each itinerary is actually a ‘triple itinerary’ that provides our guests with an understanding of the wine & cuisine, area & geography, and the culture & history of the places we will explore,” says Travagli. “I created these tours to give people an intimate look at my home — this extraordinarily beautiful, dynamic agricultural and world renown wine growing region.”

On the TWB TOUR, participants will awaken their senses through the vibrant colors, intoxicating scents, and breathtaking sights as Tuscany’s most robust seasons dramatically unfold before them. Cycling through fragrant olive groves, rolling vineyards, vibrant sunflowers fields, majestic woods, and other fascinating scenic spots, participants will uncover the most authentic aspects of Tuscany, often missed and overlooked by visitors using conventional means of transportation.

Additionally they will:  

Discover the Pearls of Tuscany, the historical points of interests, churches and buildings rich with art, centuries-old villages and towns as they follow paths and ancient roads like the “via Francigena.”

Experience Tuscan life, people, culture and places traveling through towns and farmlands, with opportunities to stay overnight.

Learn about one of the world’s most famous winemaking regions, the microclimates, viticultural areas and revered varietals, and the role of its landscape and history.

Savor the distinct flavors of the countryside including the local harvests, cherished honey, succulent olives & oils, sumptuous salumi, handcrafted cheeses, and enjoy the regional artisan products and cuisine of TWB select regional partners.

Taste regional wines among the vineyards and cellars while visiting local estates, receiving both lessons and guided tastings by Travagli, an award-winning winemaker of Chianti, Chianti Classico (Gallo Nero Black Rooster), Sangiovese, and IGT Super Tuscan wines.

No rigorous physical conditioning is required for the majority of the TWB itineraries.

“Most of our itineraries are designed for tourists without extensive athletic training.” Travagli stresses. “It’s for pure enjoyment and we try very hard to match each itinerary with the interests, comfort level, and ability of our guests.”

However, for both intermediate and advanced cyclists, Travalgi and Casini have designed several challenging itineraries including the 7-day Bio Week Tour.  The Bio Week Tours have additional activities such as cooking lessons, donkey treks, and urban bike tours. Customized Tours are also available.  For more information, visit the Tuscany Wine and Bike website, Email TWB or call (+39)333 9206700.

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DuVine Cycling Introduces 4-Day Guided Bike Tour Itineraries to Tuscany, Burgundy, Provence

April 9, 2013

DuVine Cycling + Adventure Co. has been designing and leading luxury bike tours around the world since 1996, and they’ll now be extending their expertise to include four-day European tours. They have released these shorter itineraries for guided bike tours in Tuscany, Burgundy, and Provence, making DuVine one of the only mainstream US bike tour operators currently offering four-day guided tours.

Most of DuVine’s European tours include six day, five night itineraries, but with their new product, DuVine hopes to provide another option for those who are strapped for time. “We realize that people going to Europe on business don’t always have an entire week to spend cycling,” says Andy Levine, President and Founder of DuVine. “The four-day tour is a unique offering, exclusive in the marketplace—it’s a product that doesn’t currently exist for cycling vacations,” says Levine.

The new tours are also designed for travelers looking to try out a new way to travel. For those travelers who are new to cycling and may be hesitant to spend an entire week on a bike, DuVine’s four-day tours offer a relaxed alternative. “We want all travelers to learn what we already know—that biking is the very best way to travel,” says Levine. “The four-day tours allow beginning cyclists to experience true DuVine style with no pressure or stress,” says Levine.

In Provence, travelers will cycle through fields of sunflowers and asparagus, climb winding roads to farmers markets in medieval villages, and stroll through charming rural towns and breathtaking ruins. “Our guests will taste some of the best olive oils, truffles, and wine in the world, as well as Provençal specialties prepared by some of the region’s most prominent chefs,” says Levine.

On their four-day Tuscany tour, guests are invited to explore the iconic Tuscan countryside as they ride through gentle green hills and cypress-lined byways, stopping along the way for intimate cooking classes, a wine tasting at one of Italy’s most highly-acclaimed wineries, gourmet dinners, and relaxing at some of the most stunning luxurious villas in Italy. “Our seasoned guides call on their extensive local knowledge to orchestrate engaging and authentic visits, inviting travelers to partake of the best of the best throughout the world,” says Andy. “Welcome to the ride of your life!”

Find out more about DuVine’s new four-day tours as well as their classic, family, private, and couture tours at

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Cyclomundo Expands Popular 3-Lake Cycling Tour of the Alps for 2013 To Appeal to All Levels

January 31, 2013

Cyclomundo has expanded its popular, visually intensive 3-Lake Cycling trip for 2013 with two options offering different trip itineraries and two daily mileage options to accommodate leisure cyclists as well as more advanced riders.

This world-class route, which lasts 5 nights and 6 days, links three major lakes in the region, namely, Lake Geneva, Lac du Bourget and Lake Annecy. One major element that makes Cyclomundo’s offerings different is that the company’s tours are now perfect for both leisure cyclists with less experience, as well as very serious riders who are interested in more challenging climbs. As a result, groups can enjoy cycling tours together even if they have different levels of expertise.

An easier version takes riders from Lake Geneva to Lac du Bourget to Lake Annecy, most done on very quiet roads and on bikeways.

A more arduous version for avid riders incorporates challenging climbs such as Le Grand Colombier.

Cyclomundo’s route includes historic villages, winemaking regions, beautiful natural scenery and river paths along the Rhone and Isere rivers. The trip starts in Geneva, where cyclists are encouraged to enjoy Switzerland’s culture and dining. Regardless of the option they select, cyclists travel through Seyssel and ultimately to Annecy, passing the Beaufortain and Bauges Mountains. As part of the package, clients stay in Annecy for one night. However, the company can book additional nights upon request.

This self-guided cycling tour is available from May through September, and it is priced at 610 euros per person sharing a room. Reservations can be made via Cyclomundo’s website at

Cyclomundo was launched in 2003 by cycling enthusiast Bruno Toutain. In regards to the 3-Lake tour, Toutain states, “Through this trip, leisure cyclists can experience one of the most scenic area of the Alps without climbing hills. Plus, they can go at their own pace, allowing for a trip that is not only beautiful, but also relaxing.”

The company has also appeared in a wide variety of media outlets including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Cycling Plus. Further, Cyclomundo was awarded the “2011 Trip of the Year” award by Outside Magazine. While some supported tours are offered, the company primarily enables clients to take a self-guided approach. Rates include accommodations, daily breakfasts, and three dinners.

Cyclomundo offers a diverse array of cycling vacations: guided and self-guided, pre-arranged or customized, leisurely or challenging… even some based around cyclosportive events like the Etape du Tour. Tours are suited for independent riders, families, friends, and groups of varying levels – you can choose elements “a la carte” for your trip in all regions of France as well as some regions in Spain, Italy, and Switzerland. Based in France, Cyclomundo was born out of its founder’s life-long love of cycling. The company uses local experts who passionately share their heritage with guests and adhere to the principles of sustainable development. “Cyclomundo’s goal is for clients to experience the cultural, regional, historical and gastronomical heritage of their chosen destination and, of course, to have great, healthy fun on their bicycling adventure!”

CYCLOMUNDO, 18 rue Rene Cassin, Gaillard, French Alps, France 74000, Voice: +33 4 50 87 21 09,

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BikeToursDirect Launches New Website with 300 Cycling Tours Worldwide, Added Planning Tools

March 7, 2012

Biking the Danube Bike Trail, one of the popular BikeToursDirect programs. BikeToursDirect’s new website offers custom search tools to help travelers choose and book cycling vacations based on personal preferences. The site includes extensive information on nearly 300 tours in 40 countries worldwide as well as destination details and planning tips © 2012 Karen Rubin/

BikeToursDirect has launched a new website designed to make it easier for clients to choose from its nearly 300 bicycle tours worldwide and to plan and book their cycling vacations. helps visitors search for tours based on personal preferences such as destination, type of tour, level of difficulty, price range, date and duration. Additional filtering tools help further refine search results, which then link to detailed tour information such as tour descriptions, daily programs, dates, prices, route overviews, sample hotel lists and route maps.

“It can be daunting for clients to sort through hundreds of bicycle tours and find the right one,” says Jim Johnson, president of BikeToursDirect. “This is even more the case as we expand beyond Europe to Asia, Africa, Australia and the Americas. Our new site is designed to make it easier—and fun—for clients to find their dream cycling vacations. We then provide the tools to help them plan their trips.”

The site also offers short cuts such as quick searches based on destination, interest or date and “Top 10” lists that link to top recommendations, including family-friendly tours, budget-priced tours (one-week tours start at less than $700), tours for first-time bike tourists, and bike and boat tours. also offers resources to help travelers prepare for their trips, with extensive information on destinations as well as tips on training programs, transportation and recommended clothing and equipment, and a suggested packing list.

BikeToursDirect serves as a central resource for bicycle tours around the world, representing nearly 60 tour companies that offer almost 300 tours in 40 countries throughout Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and North America. BikeToursDirect offers a variety of resources to help travelers choose tours and handles the entire booking and payment process.

For more information, visit,  call 877-462-2423 or 423-756-8907, email:

See our stories on BikeToursDirect’s Danube Bike Trail trip:

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: