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4 Tips for Cycling Tours with Kids

December 30th, 2013 by

Cycling with childrenIf you are traveling with children under 12, we’d steer you towards our single center tours (where you stay in one hotel as a base throughout).  Active children aged 8-11 can usually manage our “1 bike” or easy rated routes.  We offer special children’s mountain bikes.   Keep in mind, too, that the special seats attached to adult bikes for kids under 4, make the cycling more difficult for the parent.

But if you’re embarking on a cycling tour with kids, a few tips will help make sure you have a fun, safe and enjoyable trip.

  1. Take plenty of breaks. Keep in mind that kids have smaller wheels than you do, and they have to work harder to keep up. So be sure to take breaks often so they can stay energized throughout the day. It’s best to plan for these trips, because children often find excuses to stop—to use the bathroom, to drink some water, or for snacks. Which brings us to …
  2. Bring plenty of snacks. It’s always a good idea to keep snacks on hand, especially when your kids are expending so much energy.
  3. When you can, travel with one adult in front and one in back. And, if you have to move into the road, say to move around an obstacle such as a parked car, have the adult that’s holding up the rear move out into the road first.
  4. Don’t rush your kids. It’s better to arrive a little later than to take the fun out of the trip by constantly telling your kids to hurry up. It depends on the individual child, but an ambitious itinerary may not be the wisest choice.
  5. Try cycling trips with kids at home before committing to a whole cycling trip. If you’re thinking about a cycling trip with your kids, why not test out a long day trip closer to home? You’ll get a clear sense of your kids’ fitness levels, their enthusiasm for riding bikes, and for your own ability to enjoy the ride instead of worrying about whether your child is about to fall.

Mother with Child in Catalunya Spain

Once you discover the joys of cycling together on tours, you may never go back! Compared with trips in cars or even by bus, a cycling trip keeps families from getting bored, and often cuts down on vacation quarrelling. Most parents find that the exercise improves their children’s behavior and even sleep on a vacation so much they prefer cycling trips to any other type of vacation.

 

Exploring the Emerald Isle: Two Walking Tours of Ireland

December 23rd, 2013 by

Kerry and DingleThere’s something that’s simply magical about Ireland. The land, the people, the culture … and there’s no better way to see and experience the place than on foot. We offer two walking tours of Ireland that will give you the chance to experience for yourself the richness of the country and the warmth of the people.

Dingle Way

This is the Ireland you’ve always dreamed of visiting: Wild coastline running into rugged mountain peaks, glistening bays, sweeping sandy beaches, awe-inspiring cliffs and sea foam-splashed coves. You’ll explore fishing villages that feel as though they have been preserved from another era entirely, and see ancient churches and castles. This trip even takes you through the Irish-speaking area of the Dingle Peninsula, through early Christian villages with iconic huts made of stone piled in the shape of beehives.

The walking is mostly moderate, though there will be one long ascent as you pass beneath Mount Brandon, the highest peak in the central mountain range of the Dingle Peninsula, and the site of a popular Irish Catholic pilgrimage.

Kerry Way

This walking tour starts in the charming village of Glenbeigh, tucked among surrounding hills and the Seefin Mountains. On the Kerry Way, you’ll follow the coast on an old coach road, and catch panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean and Dingle Bay. You’ll enter the Foilmore Valley and the magnificent Ballinskelligs Bay.

As you continue to follow the coast, you’ll enter the Derrynane National Park, and have the opportunity to visit the Derrynane House, the ancestral home of  Irish politician Daniel O’Connell—the house tours are interesting if you’re interested in Irish history, but the surrounding gardens are also beautiful to explore. You’ll also have the opportunity to explore the village of Caherdaniel, and the Sneem Estuary before making its way to the shores of Kenmare Bay and the wild waters of Blackwater River before you enter Killarney National Park, where you’ll be enchanted by the ancient oak forest and close encounters with wildlife before you arrive in the beautiful and historic city of Killarney.

4 Terrific Shorter Trips in France and Spain

December 17th, 2013 by

Cycling in FranceThere are plenty of reasons that people may not want to take a full 8 or 10-day trip. Maybe you’ve never been on a walking tour, and you’re not sure that you want to commit to a full-length trip. Maybe you’re planning on a long independent vacation and just want a small trip as part of your longer adventure, or are simply looking for a more budget-friendly travel option.

Regardless of the reason, we have several terrific options of 4-night trips, with walks and cycling trips offered in both France and Spain. Unlike our longer tours, in which your walk/cycling days alternate with rest days, on our short trips you’ll walk or bike every day.

Here are a few options:

Heart of Provence – Taster Cycling

This trip offers a fantastic opportunity to see the lovely French countryside of sunny Provence. The five-day, four night trip starts and ends at a hotel in Le Thoronet, a charming town that’s well known for its Le Thoronet abbey, built in the 12th Century. The relaxed cycling tour, will give you stunning views of sun-drenched vineyards, churches, châteaux, and chapels.

Chateaux of the Loire Taster Walk

This easy walking tour offers the chance to see some of the most stunning and lavish royal  châteaux in France as you walk through the Loire Valley and the royal forest of Blois. The hotels you’ll stay in along the way have been selected for their charm, location and the warmth of the owners—and of course all along the trip you’ll have the opportunity to taste fantastic French wines and food.

Chablis Vineyards Taster Cycling

Chablis Vineyards Cycling with view of VezelayThis cycling tour is gentle and fairly flat, a terrific choice for beginners, but will take you through scenic meadows, villages, and along scenic canals and rivers. You’ll visit vineyards in Chablis, one of the most famous winemaking regions in the world, and see the infamous stained glass at St. Etienne.

Catalan Classic Taster Walk

This is one of our most popular walking tours, popular for its easy walks and incredibly varied scenery, with walks through pine forests, through lush valleys, and along sandy coastal paths. This is a particularly good trip for birders: the countryside is protected in order to preserve natural habitats, so you may see some incredible rare birds including hoopoes, buzzards, booted eagles, golden orioles and more.




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