Freewheel Holidays Offers Self-Guided City-to-City Cycling Trips to Best Appreciate Europe’s Culture, Capitals and Cuisine

Vienna is one of the best cities in the world for biking, with dedicated lanes that take you to the historic city’s main attractions. Among the city-to-city itineraries offered by Freewheel Holidays is an 8-day Prague to Vienna self-guided trip © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

MANCHESTER, UK – City breaks are in and so is self-guided bike touring. An international specialist in self-paced bicycle vacations, Freewheel Holidays, offers up ideas for the best cities for cycling – and saving on shoe leather at the same time. Their self-guided cycling tours include pre-arranged accommodations with breakfasts, luggage transfers, bike rentals (E-Bike upgrades available), travel guide, maps and route book, 24-hour hotline assistance, a welcome briefing and more.

In Italy, Pisa to Siena Cycling Trip explores the Italian Renaissance for seven days in Tuscany from Pisa and its iconic tilted tower, along a stretch of the Via Francigena (the medieval pilgrimage route from Canterbury to Rome), through Lucca (a beautiful and ancient city known for its olive oil) and San Miniato and south on Cassian Way (the Roman route that once linked Florence and Rome) to Siena, the city famous for its Palio (a horse race commemorating historic neighbourhood rivalry that’s held annually in July and August that runs through the town square). This trip is available May through September. The per person rate is from £639. See: www.freewheelholidays.co.uk/cycling-holidays/all-cycling-holidays/cycling-holidays-cities/pisa-to-siena.

From the Czech Republic to Austria, Prague to Vienna Cycling Holiday over eight days follows the Greenways Bike Route outside Prague to Český Krumlov with a 13th century castle. Riding through South Bohemia is the spa town of Třeboň where since the 12th century assorted monarchs created from a large wetland a complex of now-20 ponds that attract a variety of birdlife. The forested area close to the Austrian border has been called Czech Canada. Here is 13th century Telč with the finest preserved Renaissance (Italian influenced) square in the Czech Republic, followed by a fairytale castle perched on a cliff in Vranov and later vestiges of the not-so-ancient Cold War fence with Vienna on the other side. This trip is available May through September. The per person rate is from £949. See: www.freewheelholidays.co.uk/cycling-holidays/all-cycling-holidays/cycling-holidays-cities/prague-to-vienna.

Three countries, the Netherlands, Belgium and France, display their cultural and natural assets along with two capitals on the 12-day Amsterdam to Paris City Cycling Holiday. Along cycle paths and quiet roads, guests explore the ancient towns of Gouda, Antwerp and Ghent (center of the famous classic professional cycle race Ronde van Vlaanderen). Centuries ago this was a one-time trade route between Europe’s interior and the coast. This is also Charlemagne territory and part of the Holy Roman Empire. Layered along with plenty of Medieval influences are Belgium’s beer and chocolates that whet appetites for the vineyards and French cheeses that follow while pedaling through natural preserves, World War I sites and ancient abbeys enroute to breakfast in Paris. This trip is available June into September. The per person rate is from £1,199. See: https://www.freewheelholidays.co.uk/cycling-holidays/all-cycling-holidays/cycling-holidays-cities/amsterdam-to-paris.

For more information on all the urban cycling programs offered by Freewheel Holidays see: https://www.freewheelholidays.co.uk/cycling-holidays/all-cycling-holidays/cycling-holidays-cities.

To check trip availability, make reservations, or to find out more about Freewheel Holidays’ leisure cycling tours call +44 (0) 161 703 5823, email info@freewheelholidays.com or visit www.freewheelholidays.com.

A division of Sports Tours International, Freewheel Holidays specializes in self-guided, expertly supported European cycling holidays that strike the perfect balance between leisure pedaling and immersive sightseeing. The company offers easy to moderate cycling programs designed with special appeal to European and North American travelers. Guests cycle on their own, with enroute assistance and distinctive accommodations expertly chosen and secured by the company. A portfolio of nearly 50 established European holidays offers riders of all levels a freedom of choice. The company features a range of 4- to 11-night itineraries to 18 European countries including the UK, Austria, France, Holland, Czech Republic, Italy, Malta, Switzerland, Spain, Germany, Sweden and Portugal. The majority of tours are self-guided with the exception of a few fully-guided vacation packages in Croatia, France and Italy. The company also offers family-focused, bike & barge, coastal, wine lover and solo traveler holidays plus the option of adding E-Bikes.

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African Travel Introduces 8 New Itineraries, 7 Enhanced Journeys, 1 New Destination for 2019

African Travel, Inc., a leader in handcrafted safari vacations to Africa, is featuring eight spectacular new itineraries, several enhanced journeys that feature new hotels, experiences and activities, and one brand-new destination for 2019.

GLENDALE, Calif.– African Travel, Inc., a leader in handcrafted safari vacations to Africa, is featuring eight spectacular new itineraries, several enhanced journeys that feature new hotels, experiences and activities, and one brand-new destination for 2019.   Whether you want to see rare mountain gorillas and other wildlife, experience adrenaline adventures, immerse yourself in African culture, or taste local delicacies the 2019 brochure’s 31 journeys will lead you to the experience to match your tastes and desires.

“Our tailor-made itineraries are as unique as each traveler,” said Sherwin Banda, president of African Travel, Inc. “Our fantastic new brochure is truly a one-stop shop for every type of African adventure you’ve ever dreamed of – and even some you didn’t know existed. We make it easy to find the right Africa for your taste and style.”

African Travel’s new and updated trip offerings for 2019 include:

Southern Explorer,’ its most popular safari adventure, has been revamped and enhanced for 2019! This air-inclusive journey combines spectacular Cape Town and Kruger National Park with the majesty of Victoria Falls, one of the world’s Seven Natural Wonders. Guests are treated to special new experiences such as private guided sightseeing in Cape Town and Victoria Falls, a dinner cruise on the Zambezi River, and a scenic helicopter flight over the falls. Travelers see the best of southern Africa’s vibrant culture, scenic beauty and natural wonders on this incredible journey. 12 days, from $10,795 pp, airfare included. 

South Africa’s Natural Wonders
 offers the perfect blend of city, scenery, nature and wildlife. This new 10-day itinerary starts with private sightseeing in Cape Town and on the scenic Cape Peninsula, then takes guests to nearby Grootbos Private Nature Reserve for land-based outdoor activities and marine wildlife viewing. The trip’s final destination is the malaria-free Shamwari Private Game Reserve, the country’s largest privately-owned game reserve, where guests go on multiple Big Five game drives and learn about the reserve’s conservation programs. Cap off your stay with a lively dinner at Shamwari’s traditional boma. 12 days, from $9,495 pp. 

The enhanced Best of Botswana with Victoria Falls itinerary takes guests on a journey of discovery through Botswana’s vast, pristine wilderness, and ends with a stay at Zimbabwe’s legendary Victoria Falls. Guests discover the Okavango Delta’s maze of lagoons on a scenic helicopter flight, then explore its secret channels by traditional mokoro. Later they view the open grasslands and seasonal floodplains of the Moremi Game Reserve on 4×4 safari drives. In Victoria Falls guests explore the tropical rainforests, and take a sunset dinner cruise on the mighty Zambezi river. 11 days, from $9,395 pp, airfare included. 

Zimbabwe has re-emerged as a top contender for tourism in the past year, with much to offer the safari enthusiast. The enhanced Beyond the Rainbow itinerary includes several of the country’s most popular highlights, including the thundering Victoria Falls, Hwange National Park and Mana Pools National Park. Walking tours, game drives, canoeing and wildlife viewing from hides let guests experience exceptional wildlife, including huge herds of elephants and pods of bobbing hippos. Additionally, guests will enjoy lunch perched above the Batoka Gorge, where they can marvel at the thunderous sound of the falls and feel the mist while they dine. Days are capped off with unmatched stargazing and lively storytelling around the campfire at luxurious tented camps. 12 days, from $11,295 pp, airfare included. 

The enhanced Essence of Southern Africa’ itinerary now starts with a stay at the elegant Ellerman House, one of the hottest addresses in Cape Town. Set against the backdrop of Lion’s Head, Ellerman features terraced indigenous gardens, magnificent views of the Atlantic Ocean, and an incomparable South African art collection. The trip continues to Botswana, where guests enjoy a scenic helicopter flight over the Okavango Delta, and see a staggering amount of wildlife at Selinda Reserve. Also new on the itinerary this year is a stay at the brand new Stanley & Livingstone Boutique hotel in Victoria Falls, where guests take a private guided tour of the falls, enjoy a sunset cruise on the luxurious 28-seat Zambezi Royal, and have a memorable dinner experience on the vintage Bushtracks Express train. 11 days, from $15,995 pp. 

The wildlife-focused Delta, Rivers, and Falls’ visits both Botswana and Zambia, African Travel’s newest destination. Guests discover the beauty of the Zambezi River, the magnificent sunsets on the Chobe River, and the intricacies of the Okavango Delta, then end their journey with a magnificent safari at the famous Chief’s Island. Day and night game drives, river cruises, walking safaris and mokoro rides are all included as part of the experience. This journey features luxurious tented accommodation throughout, including tree houses lining the banks of the Zambezi River, a cottage with both indoor and outdoor showers, a classic tented camp, and elegant bush pavilions with private plunge pools. 9 days, from $6,995 pp.

Ultimate Tanzania and Rwanda has all the ingredients of a safari masterpiece: fantastic wildlife viewing opportunities on Tanzania’s Serengeti plains and in the private Grumeti Reserve, two gorilla treks in Rwanda, visits to several UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and even a ride above the plains in a hot air balloon! This bucket list journey also offers cultural and conservation experiences : guests visit a local food market in Kigali and cook with a chef, and help with reforestation activities in the Sabinyo Mountains. 13 days, from $22,475 pp.

The new ‘Deserts and Dunes of Namibia flying safari visits the wildlife sanctuary of Etosha, the iconic red dunes of Sossusvlei, and the ruggedly beautiful Skeleton Coast. It starts in the totally captivating Etosha Private Reserve, where the savanna stretches as far as the eye can see, and guests will rarely encounter another visitor. Early morning and late afternoon game drives reveal lions, giraffes, ostriches and hyenas, as well as the elusive black and white rhino. Next they’ll explore the shipwreck-strewn Skeleton Coast and see a seal colony, then stay overnight in the stylish new Shipwreck Lodge, which is literally built in the shape of a ship. Finally, they’ll marvel at the giant, fiery red dunes of Sossusvlei, and see the ancient fossilized acacia trees at Deadvlei salt pan. 10 days, from $12,695 pp. 

Cape to Cairo’ is a new itinerary for luxury travelers who want to do it ALL in one trip, from the southern tip of Africa to the top of the continent. This comprehensive 16-day adventure includes the cosmopolitan sights of Cape Town, the grandeur of Victoria Falls and the mighty Zambezi River, endless game viewing opportunities in Kenya’s Maasai Mara, and the legendary pyramids of ancient Egypt. The itinerary is designed so that guests stay at each destination for three or four nights, allowing time to unpack and really soak up the highlights. Along the way guests also enjoy unique experiences like blending their own wine in the Cape, eating breakfast with giraffes in Nairobi, going hot air ballooning in the Maasai Mara, and taking a private tour of Cairo with an Egyptologist. 16 days, from $13,995 pp.

To view the 2019 brochure, click here.

For more information or to book a 2019 safari trip, contact your travel professional, call African Travel, Inc. at (800) 727-7207, or visit www.africantravelinc.com.

African Travel is part of The Travel Corporation’s (TTC) family of brands. Created as a joint initiative between The Travel Corporation ‘s (TTC) family of brands, The TreadRight Foundation is a not-for-profit that works to help ensure the environment and communities we visit remain vibrant for generations to come. To date, TreadRight has supported some 50 sustainable tourism projects worldwide. The Foundation’s guiding principle is to encourage sustainable tourism development through conservation, leadership and support for communities. Foundation priorities are set by the Steering Committee, which includes sustainability leaders Céline Cousteau and Costas Christ. Past project partners include WWF, Conservation International, WildAid, The Travel Foundation and The National Trust in the UK. Current initiatives include supporting various women’s social enterprises through the Artisan Alliance, the recently announced Wildlife Conservation Society’s Big Cat fund, WE.org and inspiring nature advocates like Terri Irwin. To learn more about past and current work at TreadRight, please visit us at TreadRight.org.

 

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Discover the Beauty and Mystery of the Emerald Isle with Luxury Gold’s New ‘Ultimate Ireland’ Itinerary

Luxury Gold guests admire the falcons at Ashford Castle in County Mayo, Ireland

RYE, NY – Think you know Ireland? Whether you’ve always wanted to visit – or even if you’ve been before – you’ll discover facets of the Emerald Isle that you never knew existed on Luxury Gold’s exceptional new Ultimate Ireland itinerary.

This new 12-day luxury escorted journey introduces you to local people who show you the natural wonders, fascinating history, and culinary heritage of this fabled country through storytelling, hands-on demonstrations and immersive experiences. You meet accomplished dancers, distinguished authors, passionate naturalists as you make your way from energetic Belfast to lovely Limerick, and from the rugged Giant’s Causeway to the majestic Ashford Castle.

Here are just a few of the highlights:

  • Enjoy an exclusive VIP meeting with esteemed author and food critic Trevor White during a rare, private after-hours visit to The Little Museum of Dublin, which he founded, and receive a signed copy of his latest book.
  • Stay for two nights at the magnificent five-star Ashford Castle, and choose between an elegant afternoon tea service or a unique falconry experience at the oldest established falconry school in Ireland.
  • Enjoy an exceptional dining experience at the Michelin-starred L’Ecrivain restaurant in Dublin, renowned for its flavorful classic French cuisine.
  • Visit the iconic Giant’s Causeway on a private tour with a wildlife ranger, and learn more about this magnificent natural phenomenon.
  • Discover the history of Londonderry with a Local Expert who just happens to be one of Northern Ireland’s best storytellers.
  • Explore the Guinness Storehouse before it opens to the public, and take a private lesson on how to pull the perfect pint.
  • Take a jaunting carriage ride through scenic Killarney National Park and drink in stunning views of its sweeping mountains and lush lakes.
  • Enjoy a truffle tasting at Kilkenny farmers market, where you can stock up on delectable local chocolate bars, fudge, brownies and cakes.

As with all Luxury Gold journeys, throughout this trip guests move from city to city on luxury coaches with extra legroom, stay in five-star hotels in stunning locations, and enjoy the personal attention of an expertly trained Traveling Concierge.

Luxury Gold is offering a 10% Early Payment Discount when booking is paid in full by January 31, 2019. $200-$550 deposit must be paid within 3 days of booking with full payment made 45 days prior to departure.

Guided by a Traveling Concierge, Luxury Gold guests enjoy exclusive VIP Experiences, savor exceptional dining and relax in luxury hotels on every curated itinerary. To find out more, visit www.luxurygoldvacations.com.

For reservations, contact your travel agent, call 1-888-862-5952, or visit www.luxurygoldvacations.com.

Luxury Gold is part of The Travel Corporation’s (TTC) family of brands, which has created The TreadRight Foundation, a not-for-profit working to help safeguard the planet, wildlife & people for generations to come. To date, TreadRight has supported over 50 sustainable tourism projects worldwide. The Foundation’s guiding principle is to encourage sustainable tourism through conservation, leadership and support for communities. The Foundation’s priorities are set by the Steering Committee. Past project partners include WWF, Conservation International, WildAid, The Travel Foundation and The National Trust in the UK. Current initiatives include supporting various women’s social enterprises, the recently announced Wildlife Conservation Society’s Big Cat fund, WE.org and working with inspiring nature advocates like Céline Cousteau, Costas Christ and Terri Irwin. To learn more about past and current work at TreadRight, visit treadright.org and follow us on Facebook Instagram, and Twitter using hashtag #MakeTravelMatter.

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Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland, Designed for Active Travelers, Sets Spring Departures

Vagabond Adventure Tours of Ireland are designed for active travelers who want to mix up hiking and biking and other outdoor adventures with history, culture, dining and shopping.

COUNTY WICKLOW, Ireland – Touring Ireland in March and April means fun-filled festivals, better value flights, quieter roads, lambkins, bluebell-carpeted woodlands. Vagabond Adventure Tours  an award-winning travel company offers two styles of culturally immersive travel.

Vagabond Adventure Tours are designed for active travelers who want to mix up hiking and biking and other outdoor adventures with history, culture, dining and shopping. An 8 Day Wild Irish Rover Tour (Vagabond Adventure Tours,https://vagabondtoursofireland.com/tour/ireland-trips-award-winning-8-day/) departs March 10, 17, 24, 31 and April 7, 14, 21 and 28.

Why wild? Because the tour, recognized by National Geographic Traveler as a Top 50 Tours of a Lifetime, is off-road as much as it’s on, relying on signature 4×4 tour vehicles to go where other sightseeing companies tend not to tread.

Why Irish? Because the tour blends pubs, people, castles and lore into the hearts of active travelers.

Why roving? Guests are never rushed traveling from the west coast of Ireland and the peninsulas of the southwest all the way up to Connemara.

Our itinerary of the southern half of Ireland keeps guests on their toes and exploring under their own steam power. In fact, they’re sometimes, after a walk or cycle, grateful for a sit down in the 4×4,” said Rob Rankin, founder and owner with Amy Rankin. “Every stone we walk over has a story to tell. Ruins and castles are, after all, about people.”

The €1,919 per person double rate (before the early booking discount) includes eight full days of touring, seven nights’ accommodation with breakfasts, services of a professional Vagabond tour guide, guided walks, entrance fees to historical and archaeological sites, demonstrations of local craftsmen at work, ferry excursion tickets and taxes. Activities require a good level of fitness for walking and cycling 2.5 hours each on undulating paths. Additional 2019 departures are weekly on Sundays through mid-October.

Driftwood Journeys of Discovery follow similar itineraries but at an intimate and in-depth looking and lingering pace, sans the physical exertion. A 6 Day Northern Island Tour (https://vagabondtoursofireland.com/tour/6-day-northern-ireland-tour/) offers spring departures April 7 and 21.

“This tour brings tourists into a region that for decades was overlooked because of border issues,” said Rankin. “Basically, nobody wanted to visit Northern Ireland because of the ‘troubles’ there. This only started to change in the early 2000s really. The northwest county of Donegal, despite being in the Republic of Ireland (the ‘south’), was almost cut off from the rest of the state geographically. Thus, its tourism did not develop in the same way as in other parts of the country.” A border region deemed “very hard” up until early in the 21st century emerged with its own identity and culture, partly formed by the years of political turmoil and violence.

The per person double rate of €1,509 (before the early booking discount) includes six full days on tour, five nights’ accommodation with full Irish breakfasts, some entrance fees and relevant taxes. Additional 2019 departures are May 5, 19; June 16, 30July 14, 28; Aug. 11, 25; Sept. 8, 22; and Oct. 6.

For all of the current specials and promotions offered by Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland visit online; https://vagabondtoursofireland.com/special-offers/.

Vagabond staff curate locally owned accommodations, pubs and restaurants that help serve their goal of authenticity. In the end the mission is to have guests “love Ireland as much as we do.” Transport is in a custom 4×4 Land Rover or Mercedes ‘Vagatron’ that allows access beyond where regular tour buses go.

Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland has been revealing the hidden treasures of Ireland through its carefully planned and executed tours since 2002.  Last year the Irish Tourism Awards singled the company out as offering Best Adventure Experience, and also in 2017 it became Ireland’s first tour operator to achieve Ecotourism Gold Level Certification.

For details on all of Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland itineraries, availability and for 2019 reservations, visit https://vagabondtoursofireland.com/. Call toll free (from the US) 1.833-230-0288; in Ireland 00353 (0) 1 5634358; or email: info@vagabond.ie.

Vagabond Adventure Tours has been creating opportunities for visitors to embrace Ireland by walking, biking, horseback riding and kayaking its lands and waters, imbibing history and culture along the way since 2002. In 2013 the company was honored by National Geographic Traveler with a Top 50 Tour of a Lifetime distinction. In 2015 and 2017 Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland was named the “Best Adventure Experience” at the Irish Tourism Awards. In 2017, Vagabond became Ireland’s first tour operator to achieve Ecotourism Gold Level Certification and in 2018, Vagabond Tours won The Green Tourism & Entertainment category in Ireland’s most prestigious Green (business) Awards.

 

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Ride & Seek Announces 990-Mile Berlin-to-Budapest “Iron Curtain” Cycling Tour

Ride & Seek ‘s nearly 1,000 mile Berlin-to-Budapest “Iron Curtain” epic cycling adventure includes five capitals and five distinct cultures connected through a historic period that changed the world.

(Provence, France) – Ride & Seek is introducing a new Berlin-to-Budapest “Iron Curtain” epic cycling adventure that includes five capitals and five distinct cultures connected through a historic period that changed the world. This nearly 1,000-mile bicycle tour begins in Berlin where the fall of the Berlin Wall signaled the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War. The trip travels from north to south along some of the best cycling routes Europe has to offer, weaving its way south through Western Europe and what was once part of the Soviet Union. It is offered in two stages– Berlin to Prague over eight days and Prague to Budapest over 11 days. The “Iron Curtain” tour is slated for August 18 – September 4, 2019, and starts at $8,318 USD. To view the full tour, visit https://rideandseek.com/tour/iron-curtain-berlin-to-budapest/.

“This exciting new Berlin-to-Budapest tour crosses the divide between communism and democratic capitalism,” said Ride & Seek Founder Dylan Reynolds. “The history on the tour is still palpable and it is unlike our other historic cycling adventures in that the collapse of the Iron Curtain was witnessed real-time by the majority of our guests.”

Guests will cycle past palaces and through Sorbian villages to the Polish border. In the Czech Republic, they will ride through the romantic countryside of the Czech Middle Mountains and follow the banks of the Elbe River. Bohemia provides peaceful cycling interspersed with beautiful castles, medieval and renaissance towns surrounded by monumental walls. Biking close to the Austrian border, riders will pass well-preserved fortifications from the beginning of WWII. In Austria, they’ll cycle along wooded hillsides and through green meadows onto the Danube River and into Vienna on beautifully kept cycle paths.

From one capital to the next, guests will follow the blue waters of the Danube River past the luxurious palaces of the Viennese nobility to Slovakia’s capital, Bratislava. The group will continue through Hungary to the baroque city of Györ, and then travel through rolling hills famous for its racehorse studs before returning to the Danube River. The last day will include a ride along one of the most scenic parts of the Danube, where the river enters steep hills, creating stunning meanders into the lively heart of Budapest.

“For those who enjoy beer, this trip will not disappoint,” said Reynolds. “Each of the countries we travel through will tell you their beer is the best in the world, but you will have to make up your own mind.”

Iron Curtain Bike Tour Highlights:

Seeing the Berlin Wall and Checkpoint Charlie

Cycling along the rivers and canals that cover much of Eastern Germany

Following the Oder-Neisse River along the Polish border to Görlitz, one of Germany’s most beautiful cities

Rolling through the castle-and-fortress-filled Czech Middle Mountains along the banks of the Elbe River

Exploring Telč, a jewel of the Czech Republic and inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List

Drinking the world’s best beers: German wheat beers, Czech pilsner, Austrian lager and Hungarian ales

Touring Budapest, an architectural and historical treasure trove along the Danube

Sampling Austrian schnitzel, Viennese-style coffee, chocolate Sachertorte cake, Hungarian Goulash, and German bratwurst.

Ride & Seek is a worldwide adventure cycling company offering historical itineraries with quality lodging, fine gastronomy, and cultural immersion. Cyclists not only see and ride some of the greatest roads in Europe but also visit some of the most spectacular sites as well. Providing a cultural insight into the areas both historically and gastronomically is central. Historical journeys and cultural adventures are specialties. www.rideandseek.com.

 

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Grasshopper Adventures Introduces Tour Exploring Thailand by Bike from Bangkok to Phuket

(Bangkok, Thailand) — Grasshopper Adventures is introducing a 10-day tour cycling the Gulf of Thailand, Khao Sok National Park, and the Andaman Coast. Five days are spent riding along the Gulf of Thailand on deserted blacktop and concrete roads through sleepy villages and coconut groves, followed by three days of riding through Khao Sok National Park to the Andaman Coast and down to Phuket.

“This is a cycling holiday in the true sense of the term,” said Grasshopper Adventures President Adam Platt-Hepworth. “We’ll enjoy the satisfaction of riding the majority of the distance from Hua Hin down to Phuket, whilst taking in places that most visitors to Thailand don’t get to see.”

On the gulf side of Thailand, guests will ride on mostly flat terrain and quiet backroads, with the exception of two short highway sections. In the hinterland, there are some more sustained hills, but these are rarely longer than 2 km and nothing that could be described as steep. Guests will share the road with some traffic through Khao Sok National Park due to the absence of backroads and from Khao Lak to Phuket.

Tour Highlights Include:

  • Visiting the sleepy beach town of Pranburi
  • Biking through Sam Roi Yod National Park and hiking to Phraya Nakhon Cave
  • Overnighting at a family-owned lodge on the beach in Chumphon
  • Cycling through rubber plantations and past limestone cliffs
  • Soaking in hot springs and indulging in delicious Thai cuisine
  • Riding over the bridge to Phuket Island and overnighting on the beach

The trip totals 574 km by bike and starts at $2,350 USD. Multiple departure dates are available throughout the year. For more information, visit here or call 844-874-3720.

Grasshopper Adventures is a cycling and active travel specialist, headquartered in Bangkok. They host more than 25,000 travelers of all ages and abilities, on tours ranging from one day to two weeks in Japan, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, China, Uzbekistan, Taiwan, Bhutan & Myanmar. https://www.grasshopperadventures.com

 

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Grasshopper Adventures Unveils Cycling Tour of China’s Yunnan Province

Grasshopper Adventures unveiling a new 14-day bike tour exploring the Yunnan Province of China.

(Bangkok, Thailand) — Grasshopper Adventures unveiling a new 14-day bike tour exploring the Yunnan Province of China. Intrepid riders will cycle through the ancient towns of the Tea Horse Trail, a network of paths winding through the mountains, from mystical Shangri-La to the breathtaking Tiger Leaping Gorge to Lijiang. The tour covers 510 km by bike, starts at $4,900 USD, and is scheduled for June 10-23, 2019.

“Our guests will ride through one of the highest gorges in the world, carved out over millennia by the Yangtze River and surrounded by the dramatic Jade Dragon and Haba Snow Mountains,” said Grasshopper Adventures President Adam Platt-Hepworth. “Along the way, they’ll visit ancient villages with captivating rituals and traditions seemingly unchanged by the test of time.”

The two-week adventure begins in the foothills bordering Tibet, with the dramatic backdrop of Yunnan Province. This is a land of mysticism, spirituality and jaw-dropping landscapes where ancient cultures meet the modern world.  Guests will ride from China’s alpine utopia of Shangri-La through the stunning landscape of Tiger Leaping Gorge, to the ancient Bai Kingdom city of Dali. The majority of the riding is on small roads through villages with minimal traffic.

Tour Highlights:

Visiting the world’s largest prayer wheel and the stunning Songzanlin Monastery

Exploring the mythical utopia of Shangri-La

Riding through Tiger Leaping Gorge

Discovering the ancient Bai Kingdom city of Dali

Exploring the picturesque backstreets of Lijiang

Touring Jian Chuan with its quaint canals and bridge

Cycling to the historic town of Shaxi

For more info, visit https://www.grasshopperadventures.com/en/scheduled-tours/spiritual-shangri-la.html.

Grasshopper Adventures is a cycling and active travel specialist, headquartered in Bangkok. They host more than 25,000 travelers of all ages and abilities, on tours ranging from one day to two weeks in Japan, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, China, Uzbekistan, Taiwan, Bhutan & Myanmar. https://www.grasshopperadventures.com

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AdventureSmith Explorations Outlines Benefits of Visiting Hawaiian Islands by 36-Guest Yacht

Instead of flying from Hawaiian island to island, AdventureSmith Explorations suggests a multi-day small ship cruise.

TRUCKEE, CA – The experts in small-ship expedition cruising have a few tips for experiencing the diverse cultures, landscapes and ecosystems of the Hawaiian Islands: Instead of flying from island to island, AdventureSmith Explorations suggests a multi-day small ship cruise that allows visitors to:

  • Explore four islands by accessing secluded anchorages via the water instead of flying into one airport after another, a process that devours precious vacation time waiting in lines at airport counters, gates and baggage claim
  • Escape the ever-present throngs of land-based visitors
  • Unpack just once for the entire week
  • Visit coveted, remote beaches with far-fewer sun-worshipers present
  • View coastlines inaccessible by land
  • Witness epic sunsets from the water every night (maybe even the “green flash”?)
  • Enjoy the leisurely pace that a yacht allows, keeping with Hawaii’s true laid-back nature

The cruise that AdventureSmith Explorations highly recommends is the 8-day Hawaiian Seascapes itinerary aboard the 36-guest motor yacht, Safari Explorer. And to reward travelers for new reservations made by Jan. 31, 2019, on departures from now through April 2019, guests will enjoy $100 off the beginning rate of $3,995 per person double. Through April 2019 this includes complimentary premium beer and spirits (and the privilege of enjoying an on-board wine library and piano bar), plus a massage. Right on the yacht is all of the gear needed to enjoy water sports and guided activities: hiking, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, yoga and snorkeling (including a night snorkel excursion to look for giant Pacific manta rays). Guests are served by an attentive 15-member crew.

Included in the island-hopping itinerary are Moloka’i and Lana’i, islands that most visitors to the region never see. The adventure begins over a champagne toast in Moloka’i where there are no stop lights nor high rises but just the new-found harmony of hiking to a towering waterfall in Halawa’s cathedral valley, one of the island’s most historic places, and celebrating a life far removed from the maddening crowd over a pa’ina (feast), complete with a home-style Hawaiian jam session.

Ship-goers will be on the lookout for humpback whales off Maui enroute to the next stop at the “private island” of Lana’i where 1,000-foot sea cliffs plunge into the Pacific that once surrounded an ancient princess and her sugarcane fields. Here guests snorkel among coral gardens near a sea turtle habitat. The Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary adjacent to Lana’i, Moloka’i and Maui provides front-row seats through marine breeding grounds while searching for dolphins, whales and other marine life.

Then it’s on to the Big Island of Hawaii where a morning on coconut palm-fringed Honomalino Bay offers snorkeling, stand-up paddleboarding and kayaking surrounded by colorful corals, sponges and tropical fish. Guests explore tunnels known as lava tubes, and on the water go by kayak and skiff to pay calls on marine animals and to sail into Kealakekua Bay where Captain Cook fell to the hands of the natives in 1779. Later guests stroll through the historic town of Kailua-Kona.

For details on all AdventureSmith’s small ship cruises worldwide, day-to-day itineraries, availability and reservations, phone: 866-575-2875 toll-free or visit www.adventuresmithexplorations.com.

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Austin Adventures Expands Grand Canyon Offerings, Special Perks to Honor National Park Service Centennial

Austin Adventures is inviting guests to “Go Grand” with them, offering perks and special surprises on all of their Grand Canyon tour departures in 2019 © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

BILLINGS, MT – After six million years the Grand Canyon and its liquid heartbeat, the Colorado River, have more than a few stories to tell. But it was the National Park Service one century ago that began registering and interpreting these stories for some six million domestic and international visitors annually.

The official Grand Canyon National Park centennial takes place on Feb. 26, 2019. And Austin Adventures, a leading active travel company that frequents the cream of America’s iconic parks of the West, is inviting  guests to “Go Grand” with them, offering perks and special surprises on all of their Grand Canyon tour departures in 2019.

To mark and help celebrate the Grand Canyon’s Centennial:

Each trip will feature an educational element  – the most exciting and interesting places to explore and it cultural and natural history – introduced by expert guides knowledgeable in the geology of the Grand Canyon. Local walk-on experts will interact with groups as situations allow. Specific attention will be paid to the amazing geography but also to the significant history of the people, including the 21 traditional associated tribes calling the Grand Canyon their home.

Austin Adventures’ logo day packs will be gifted to kids ages 12 and under who are guests on a tour. Each pack is full of Grand Canyon memorabilia, keepsakes and educational material such as a field guide, map and activity book.

Adults will have $100 donated in their name by Austin Adventures to the Grand Canyon Conservancy that is the official, nonprofit partner of the park (https://www.grandcanyon.org/)

Extra educational elements will be woven into a visit to the South Rim in conjunction with Grand Canyon Conservancy.

“There is no question as to why the Grand Canyon is considered one of the Seven Wonders of the natural world. A must-see on everyone’s bucket list, we at Austin Adventures have been sharing the “big ditch” with adventure seekers for over two decades,” adds Dan Austin, company founder and president. “You really need to do more than just view it from an overlook, you must journey inside and experience it to really understand its magnitude and magnificence!”

In 2019 there will be nine departures of Austin Adventures’ Arizona: Grand Canyon National Park Vacation (up from seven in 2018). Of these, seven trip dates are family-focused and two are for adults-only.  Six-day family departures are March 17, 24; June 30; July 7, 14, 21, 28. The rates are $2,998 for adults and $2,398 to $2,698 for children in shared accommodations. See https://www.austinadventures.com/packages/arizona-family-grand-canyon/.

Six-day adult-only departures are in the fall when kids are back in school, Sept. 22 and 29. The rate is $2,998 ($580 single supplement). See https://www.austinadventures.com/packages/grand-canyon-vacation-tour/.

And in the spirit of celebration, Austin Adventures is also introducing a new-for-2019 program; Arizona/Utah: Grand Canyon to Bryce & Zion. This expertly crafted 8-day journey wraps together three national parks using Las Vegas as the gateway.  Guests journey into the mysterious depths of the Grand Canyon, hike through the stone forest hoodoos and spires of Bryce and navigate the world-renowned Narrows of Zion Park. The per person rate is $3,598 ($680 single supplement). Departures in 2019 are May 5-12, May 15-22 and May 25-June 1. See https://www.austinadventures.com/packages/grand-canyon-bryce-zion-2/

For more information, questions and trip availability, call 1.800.575.1540 or email info@austinadventures.com. For a full roster of Austin Adventures’ 2019 trips, cruises and distinctive accommodations on seven continents please visit http://www.austinadventures.com.

Based in Billings, Montana, Austin Adventures has spent over 40 years building an international reputation as a top provider of luxury, small group, multisport tours for adults and families to the world’s most captivating destinations. They have been acknowledged twice by Travel + Leisure Magazine with the prestigious World’s Best Awards along with other national media accolades and distinctions. Austin Adventures has perfected the art of creating itineraries featuring exceptional regional dining, distinctive accommodations, incredible guides and exhilarating activities, all while keeping all-inclusive rates and services the norm. In addition to scheduled group departures on all seven continents, Austin Adventures has developed a reputation as the leader in customized trip planning and execution, all backed by the industry’s best money-back satisfaction guarantee. Austin Adventures is a Virtuoso Preferred Tour Operator.

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Global Scavenger Hunt to Award $50,000 Winner-Take-All Prize for 2019

South Africa may be one of the countries visited on the 2019 edition of the Global Scavenger Hunt (© Eric Leiberman/goingplacesfarandnear.com

SANTA ROSA, USA – A $50,000 winner-take-all cash prize awaits the first-place team in the 2019 world travel championship.  The around the world event, known as The Global Scavenger Hunt, is set to take place between April 12 and May 4, 2019, and is now accepting applications for entry.

Imagine Indiana Jones-types, Amazing Race aspirants and some of the world’s most traveled adventurers, all willing to test their travel IQ against other world class international travelers in an around-the-world travel adventure competition that crowns The World’s Greatest Travelers, can apply for the $50,000 winner-take all prize at GlobalScavengerHunt.com.

The 2019 World Travel Championship Fact Sheet: 

What:   The Global Scavenger Hunt is an annual around-the-world travel competition that takes teams on A Blind Date with the World, tasked with a series of daily culturally-oriented micro adventures designed to test their travel IQ’s.

When:   April 2019, 23-days between April 12th and May 4th. Teams will travel from Los Angeles to New York—the long way—around the world.

Who:     Limited to teams of two travelers. The $25,000 per team entry fee includes: all international airfare, First Class hotels, 40+% of meals, and special event gear. Travelers are interviewed for suitability and single travelers are welcome to apply.

Prizes:   A $50,000 winner-take-all cash prize to the winning team along with The World’s Greatest Travelers crown and trophy.

Where:   The circumnavigation of the globe will touch down in 10 secret countries—that may include: Brazil, Peru, Myanmar, Nepal, Oman, South Africa and Romania. (It is A Blind Date with the World…and participants won’t become aware of their next destination until 4-hours prior to departure!)

Why:     Aside from the $50,000 in cash, the Trophy and bragging rights; Teams will be travel a million kilometers to help raise funds for charities that provide micro-loans and build co-ed elementary schools in nations like: Kenya, Niger, Sri Lanka, Sierra Leone and Ecuador.

How:     For additional information visit GlobalScavengerHunt.com to apply or call 310-281-7809.

 

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