Categories: Travel Planning

4 Fantastic Level 1-1.5 Tours

by Jessie Beyer - Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Level 1-1.5 tours are perfect for all types of travelers.  Better yet many of these tours are new or updated for 2019, take a look and find your next trip!

Easy Cycling in the Alps Plus! Venetian Villas and Venice

Our Easy Cycling in the Italian Alps itinerary makes cycling through scenic valleys in the shadow of Italy’s famous Alps accessible to cyclists of all levels. Perfect for groups with varied cycling abilities, this tour takes you along pristine bike paths and small towns as you enjoy pedaling by the lush meadows of the Venosta Valley with Alpine peaks and glaciers in the background. Along the way, you’ll pedal past some of the best-preserved castles in the region, vineyards and orchards, and visit historic cities including Merano, Bolzano, Trento and Bassano del Grappa – with plenty of opportunities to explore cafés in central plazas. This tour is a perfect blend of fascinating Austro-Italian history and the famous beauty and tranquility of Northern Italy’s mountains, lakes and valleys.

The new “Plus” extended version of Cycling in the Italian Alps takes you out of the mountains to pedal the best of the Po Valley along the Brenta river to famed art cities of Vicenza, Padova and incomparable Venice.  Explore some of the most famous Venetian Villas in Italy and end with a ride into Venice. This extended tour shows off northern Italy’s natural and architectural splendor in a way that can only be experienced by bicycle.

Highlights:  Four two-night stays, Medieval walled town of Glorenza, Adige River riding, Merano and its chic thermal spa town center, Gondola ride and dinner in a traditional “maso” in a mountain valley, Dedicated scenic bike paths, Views to the Dolomites and the Alps, Guided visit of Trento and Vicenza, Land art installation visit of Arte Sella, Palladian Villas on the Brenta Riviera, Padova and Venice.

2019 Departure Dates:

Easy Cycling in the Italian Alps (8-day)

Jun 22-29
Jul 13-20
Aug 3-10

Easy Cycling in the Alps Plus! Venetian Villas and Venice (12-day)

Jun 22-Jul 3
Jul 13-24
Aug 3-14

Emilia Romagna’s Culinary Delights Plus!

Join our revamped itinerary as we travel new roads and taste new flavors of Italy’s premier culinary region. You will go behind the scenes and learn time-honored culinary traditions of Italy’s most famous foods including Parmesan cheese, balsamic vinegar, cured meats, and wine! (Not to mention taste testing said ingredients in extraordinary local dishes made according to tradition.) Every day of pedaling will take you on behind-the-scenes visits to the artisans and chefs, you’ll also explore ancient castles and World Heritage UNESCO sites. On tour you will visit art capitals including Modena and Parma. You’ll round out your ride in Bologna and put the ingredients you’ve seen made over the previous days together during a hands-on cooking class.

Those continuing on the 12-day Plus version of this tour will cycle to hilltop villages, countryside resorts, and stay in restored parish houses in the foothills of the Apennines. You’ll explore aged cheese (formaggio di fossa) fermented in underground pits, and you will pay a visit to Casa Artusi— the father to Italian home cooking cookbooks and the first to “appreciate” and document home cooking beyond high-end royal dishes: Pellegrino Artusi wrote “Science in the kitchen and the art of eating well” in the 19th century, and documented his maid’s cooking. Join us Cycling Italy’s Culinary Delights Plus! the Farm as history, art, culture, and tradition conspire in Italy’s premiere food region to make this tour unforgettable!

Highlights: Cremona – home to torrone or Italian nougat, Visit to a violin workshop, Balsamic vinegar cellar, Parma famous cured ham, Parmesan cheese, Bologna, Castle of Torrechiara, Modena, Resort country house in the hills, Gala seafood dinner on the coast, Casa Artusi cooking demo.

2019 Departure Dates:

Emilia Romagna’s Culinary Delights (8-day)

May 26-Jun 2
Jun 16-23
Sep 1-8

Emilia Romagna’s Culinary Delights Plus! (12-day)

May 26-Jun 6
Jun 16-27
Sep 1-12

Bike and Barge: Amsterdam to Bruges Plus! Belgium’s Breweries

On this bike and barge tour you will discover the southern region of Zeeland in the Netherlands finally dipping into the West Flanders region of Belgium. By day you’ll bicycle through regions known for phenomenal sightseeing and cycling terrain. You will travel between the world famous cities of Amsterdam, Antwerp, Ghent, and Bruges and visit iconic places including Gouda and the famous windmills of Kinderdijk. Delve deep into local culture when we meet small cheese farmers and visit a working windmill in the small town of Tholen. In Belgium, explore WWI battlefields around the towns of Poperinge and Ypres, and the brewing tradition of fine Belgian beers while visiting St. Sixtus and St. Bernadus abbey cafés.

Highlights: Important cities of Amsterdam, Antwerp, Ghent and Bruges, Working windmill visit, Extra bicycling available on most days, Gouda and its cheeses, UNESCO World Heritage Sites -Kinderdijk Windmilles, Bruges, Cycling along bike paths and canals, Luxury barge, Painter Peter Paul Rubens.

2019 Departure Dates:

Bike and Barge: Amsterdam to Bruges (8-day)

May 17-25
Jul 26-Aug 3

Bike and Barge: Amsterdam to Bruges Plus! Belgium’s Breweries (12-day)

May 17-28
Jul 26-Aug 6

Bike and Barge the Seine Plus! Castles of the Loire

This week-long bike and barge cruise begins in Paris and takes you along the Seine River Valley, passing by splendid estates including the castle and grounds at Fontainebleau, and through small medieval towns on the way to Montargis. Enjoy this scenic ride on easy canal paths, with frequent stops to sip café au lait in quaint French villages. Our boat for the week floats quietly along the Seine River, slipping through locks and under bridges while sumptuous meals are prepared on-board. This tour is ideal for anyone who loves the French joie de vivre, and those who are new to cycling and want to try bicycle traveling without having to pack and unpack their bags every day. Our Plus! tour is land-based and offers the opportunity to spend another few days pedaling between the important chateaux’s of the famed Loire Valley including Blois, Chambord, Amboise and Chenonceau.

Highlights: Paris; Castle of Fontainebleau; “artists’ villages” – towns that inspired 19th and 20th century Impressionist painters; medieval fortified towns and castles; private castle visit.

2019 Departure Dates:

Bike and Barge the Seine (8-days)

Jun 22-29
Aug 17-24

Bike and Barge the Seine Plus! Castles of the Loire (11-day)

Jun 22- Jul 2
Aug 17-27

 

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Jessie Beyer - Originally from the suburbs of Washington, D.C., Jessie headed west for college and never looked back. She earned a Journalism and Technical Communications degree from Colorado State University, and has since worked in a variety of industries including radio, sustainability, and wine tourism. Jessie combines her passion for travel, cycling, and storytelling to help people understand the unique power of exploring the world from the seat of a bike. A self-proclaimed travel junkie, Jessie has found herself on many extended adventures. She spent 2015 exploring many corners of the world including tramping through New Zealand's mountains, cycling through Europe, and hitching a boat ride down the Mekong river from Laos into Thailand. At home in Colorado you'll likely find her singing her way up mountain trails, talking to strangers, and seeking restaurants with patios and Spanish wines.

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