Reviews of Bike Tour Companies, Help with Planning Your Cycling Vacation in Europe, and Price Comparisons of Bicycle Tour Operators

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VBT  vbt.com  

We just finished the vbt Andalusian bike tour. The guides Nico and JC were over the top amazing. They made the trip immensely enjoyable. However the VBT selection of hotels could definitely use dramatic improvement. We finished at a five star hotel but several of the other hotels would be hard pressed to get two stars in my rating opinion. They were noisy and had flat old pillows with hard beds. - Mike, Lake Oswego, OR

Traveled with VBT in France and California. Amazing VALUE! Same lodging as Backroads and Trek, good bikes, FANTASTIC guides and excellent food. Guides are well trained bike mechanics and great teachers of all things local. They gave the right level of support (or extra miles) to every person on the trip--from "minimal" riders to serious hill-toppers. - E. Tish, Chicago, IL

I had the recent opportunity to travel with VBT in Holland. I could go on and on about all of the positives but will limit it to giving kudos to our leader Marieka, who was fantastic. Also, compliments to the chef, Bas, who did a tremendous job of providing delicious and interesting foods throughout the week on the Iris barge.- Brenda, St. Paul, MN

Just completed a trip to Croatia with VBT. Guides were exceptional, and trip was very good overall. Two negatives. If you live in Atlanta, the airfare will be good, but the routing might be terrible, as ours was. They use United/Lufthansa. Three flights to Croatia....almost 20 hours from start to finish. Excruciating, but priced right which is why you book VBT. Also, the last hotel on the post trip was a dump and a long walk from Split's Old Town and tourist area. - Karen, Atlanta, GA

... VBT is a great value compared to many of the other groups. I bought the add-on which included my flight and 3 extra days, and the price couldn't be beat..   - CSS, Ft. Collins, CO 

We LOVED our tour leaders. They were very knowledgeable and accommodating. But it was surprising how many of our fellow riders used the van - DH & HH, San Jose, CA 

... We had a wide range of riders, from novice to very experienced.  All got to bike at the level they enjoyed. Food, accomodations and bike rides were seamlessly arranged and pleasing to all. - Elizabeth S., Orlando, FL

The trip itinerary was good, but guides seemed tired of their job, some days I never saw them that would have been okay if I could trust the written maps, they were wrong several times. - Christie, Manhattan Beach, CA

They provided lots of activities on top of just the bike riding, which was fun and helps the group bond together. Even though they said it was intermediate, most days we did surprisingly short rides of only about 25 miles, so we didn't cover as much as I'd hoped. Next time I'll choose one of their more challenging trips.  - John G, San Diego 

I thought I would save money and buy the plane ticket through VBT. What a mistake! We had two layovers, and one was for 5 hours! I suggest finding out the entire itinerary of your flight before booking it with them. - David S, Hollywood, CA 

 

Great tour, great price, with great leaders, and wonderful support.  We loved the fact that there were other things to do besides bike.  We had an optional hike on one day, right along our bike ride, and kayaking on an other day, as well as an included boat tour. - Barbara & Jim, Bridport, Vermont

Be very careful when booking airfare with VBT.  Lost luggage on both ends of trip resulted from too many stops in flight to Italy.  (30 hrs from Baltimore.)  we received info re: flights too late to change itinerary.  Flight schedule was  terrible! - Lisa Silver Spring, MD

After ten Backroads trips, I tried VBT.  I had the time of my life with VBT!  Accomodations were wonderful.  Food was great!  The guides were the best! I did the Prince Edward Island tour, in August.  I really appreciated the air fare package and coordinating hotels being an option.  It made life so easy.  It is a little bit older group, which I like, and I found everyone to be so pleasant to be around! - Edie,  Long Beach , CA

We went to Ireland with VBT last year and found the trip to be very enjoyable and worth every penny.  The acomodations were very good and a good value for what we paid.  The guides were knowledgeable and even tho it was the end of the season gave us extra service and caring.  The routes were very good and although some of our group had problems with their air routes we did not and found the air connections to be very good. Excellent value - great trip. - Rosie T., Denver, CO

I toured Sicily with VBT and had a wonderful time. I would, however, have enjoyed more time and distance cycling. Most days rides were about a half a day or less. The guides were incredible and even topped of our water bottles with a slice of lemon each morning. It was a great trip with a well thought out itinerary and amazing hotels. The group was mostly retirees, except for myself and one other couple. - Roger, Sacramento, CA

This was truly the vacation of a lifetime!  Our tour guides were great fun and provided wonderful service too.  The lunch visit to the olive oil producer was full of local color and flavor, with the owner giving a presentation about harvesting olives from his 500 year old trees, and making great olive oil.  The tour was full of local color and not at all commercialized. Our local guides really made the experience fun.  Having the airfare included was a help, and we really enjoyed the pre and post trip optional extensions in Florence and Rome.  We can't wait to go back! - Michelle George, Livermore, CA

We've done 5 VBT trips and have yet to be disappointed with any aspect of their tours. Inclusive airfare is a great value and accomodations have been first rate. We rate their guides as better or far superior to other bike tour company's. Travel companions have generally been in their 50s/60s with the ocassional family that brings college-age children along. They offer incredibly great European trip choices. - Ross H., Springfield, IL

This was my letter to the President of VBT 10/15/10 Dear Mr. Marston, I just came off your last Tuscany by the Sea trip and I would be remiss if I did not write to tell you how this trip totally exceeded my expectations. First of all I must commend the clock work precision of your staff as both my partner and I were treated first class all the way, never having to wait for a connection or anything organizational on your part. We were greeted by a nice lady at the Rome airport who whisked us to a private car that drove us to the door step of our hotel in Orvieto. Perfect. The reverse was true on the way out....excellent. Our trip was composed of mostly professional people from across our country and everyone had a great time. We were among the few 'bicycle tour' first timers but were told by others, right off the bat, that VBT tours were outstanding and indeed we can now concur. Elana Spalenza & Elana Fossati could not have been more helpful, good natured, professional, warm and engaging. - Karen Berwick, Orange, CT

This is my ninth trip with VBT and I am beginning to feel alarmed by the decline of quality. To begin on a positive note, our leaders and the rides were superb. There is no prettier view anywhere than the ones we had in Bordeaux/Dordogne and for that alone the trip is heartily recommended. After all, you’re there to ride. But you’re also there to eat and relax and there the ratings are more mixed. The hotel in St. Emilion was awful. The rooms were far too small. Here you run into VBT’s current problem, maintaining great accommodations and food at relatively low prices in the face of escalating costs and an unstable Euro. One solution would be to stay outside St. Emilion and just come in for an afternoon’s tour of the marvelous underground church and the quaint and lovely streets. Secondly, the food offerings this trip were far more restrictive than in the past, with no beef for dinner at all and generally just three dinner menu choices, meat, fish or vegetarian. - Deborah, Palo Alto, CA

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