Apr 15

Sustainable New Zealand Ecotour: Pounamu Trip

New Zealand active travel tour with tour map

tour New Zealand

Pounamu Eco-Tour – Complete Itinerary

13 days, South Island Eco-Tour

Printable Itinerary (PDF) US$5499 + tax

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The Pounamu is our pioneering, ecologically sustainable ‘Deep Green’ tour. We’ve extensively researched sustainable travel, added the comprehensive knowledge of New Zealand’s most gorgeous, untouched areas that we’ve accrued in our 15 years of running our unique style of physically active tours of New Zealand… and paved the way towards serious sustainable travel.

We’ve used the lowest impact technologies and techniques to develop an adventure that will take you to the depths of New Zealand’s glorious wilderness while having a positive impact on the people and places we pass. We won’t be hugging trees, but we’ll be planting them as part of our program to offset our carbon footprint and restore New Zealand’s native forest.

via Sustainable New Zealand Ecotour: Pounamu Trip.

Permanent link to this article: http://activetraveltours.com/active_travel_tours/sustainable-new-zealand-ecotour-pounamu-trip

Apr 14

Biking Through Historic Spain on the Camino de Santiago

Bike paths and history and travel, oh my!!

Active travel tours don’t get any better than this one. It’s not just biking, which is great; it’s not just bicycling on a trail which is even better. This tour, sponsored by Saddle Skedaddle, combines bicycling, panoramic scenery, history and one of the best bike paths in Europe.Saddle Skedaddle active travel tour company logo

Camino de Santiago Trail

The Camino de Santiago  is also known as the Way of St. James and is more than just a bike trail. Located in northern Spain, it is an ancient pilgrimage trail with an incredible religious and cultural background. But even before it became a trail for religious pilgrims, it was a Roman trade route known as the Milky Way. In Medieval times the route took on religious significance as pilgrims journeyed to what is now the city of Santiago de Compostela where Saint James was said to have been buried.

Now, modern day pilgrims travel the route on foot, by bike and even on horseback. Of course, many of the current trail travelers make the journey for non-religious purposes. But either way, the expedition carries its own significance to each traveler. However one significant difference for modern day travelers is the variety of options available to each trail wanderer. As always, trail users have the option to make the journey on their own, free to meditate and contemplate as they progress through the countryside. But another option is the organized group rides that are now available.

Guided Tour of Camino de Santiago TrailCamino de Santiago Cycling Holiday - Spain - Camino de Santiago - Biking Adventures

Numerous tour companies offer tours of this historic route, but we’ll look at the Camino de Santiago tour provided by Saddle Skedaddle in today’s blog post. The tour provides eight days of fully supported biking along with good food, great camaraderie and an abundance of historical sight seeing. The route is a moderately paced trip that meanders from Astorga to Santiago de Compostela. Along the way, bicycle riders will have the option to sample local food and view unique architecture. Accommodations for the tour are mostly in small hotels and inns with ample opportunities to meet locals and fellow tourists.

I would love to hear from anybody who has ever toured this region of Spain or enjoyed an active travel tour with Saddle Skedaddle. Feel free to leave a comment below.


Permanent link to this article: http://activetraveltours.com/active_travel_tours/biking-through-historic-spain-on-the-camino-de-santiago

Apr 11

Bike and Barge Tours in Austria

Bike and Barge Toursbicycle path along the Danube River in Austria

From active travel tours in England, we will move on to bike & barge tours in Austria, after a brief explanation of bike & barge tours. If you’re not familiar with this type of tour, it may just be the perfect European vacation option for bicycle touring. Imagine being able to ride your bike from point A to point B in Europe and having your hotel follow you along the way. That’s essentially what you get with a bike &  barge tour. And let me emphasize the word “hotel.” If you imagine a barge as a dirty, flat, working vessel that plies the waters of a dank canal, then it’s time for a new mindset. Modern barges, like hotels, come in many shapes & sizes. And you can book anything from a budget tour to a luxury vacation on a barge. You will be served delicious meals each day and sleep in a comfortable private room each night. During they day, you can bicycle to your heart’s content knowing that at the end of the road or trail, your floating hotel will be awaiting you with all the comforts of home.

Bike Trail Tour in Austria

Imagine your ideal biking vacation. Would it include beautiful scenery, fascinating history, a safe bike path, comfortable and affordable lodging, and knowledgeable guides? ActiveTravelTours has discovered a website called Tripsite.com that offers bike & barge tours that meet all of the requirements of the perfect bicycling holiday.

  • Fantastic bicycle touring itinerarieslogo for trip site bike and barge active travel tour company
  • Numerous active travel itineraries
  • Road biking or trail biking options
  • All meals including sack lunches
  • A variety of lodging options from budget accommodations to luxury sleeping quarters
  • Medieval villages
  • Historic cities
  • European countrysides
  • Loaner bikes included with the tours
  • A knowledgeable tour leader onboard your boat
  • Fun extras like wine tasting, cider tasting & city tours

If any of our readers have experienced a bike and barge tour, we’d love to hear about it in the comments section below. And, as always, we’d love to get input from tour companies and tour leaders.

Permanent link to this article: http://activetraveltours.com/active_travel_tours/bike-and-barge-in-austria

Apr 10

Active Travel Tours in England

Worldwide Active Travel Tours

Big Ben is one site to see on an active travel tour in England

View history, architecture and natural scenery in England.

Welcome the first in our series of Worldwide Active Travel Tours. Throughout this series, we will bring you tour information about different countries throughout the world. Our first active travel tour spotlight will be on…

Active Travel Tours in England

England is famous for it’s historical tours. It is known as the land of William the Conqueror, Robin Hood, King Henry, and Queen Elizabeth. But it is also an ideal location for hiking tours, biking vacations and sea kayaking adventures. One company that offers active travel tours to England is Bicycle Beano Cycling Holidays. In addition to offering bicycle tours on quiet roads and scenic lanes, Bicycle Beano also specializes in healthy eating on their tours. They provide vegetarian meals with delicious organic food. Some of their destinations include Ellesmere, Snowdonia in Wales and Pembrokeshire Coast National Park.

For those of you who want to venture out on self-guided tours, England has amazing hiking and biking trails. One of the trails ventures coast to coast all the way across England roughly following Hadrian’s Wall. Another famous trail in England is the Ridgeway trail. It is said to follow the course of England’s oldest road as it extends from Wiltshire along the chalk ridge of the Berkshire Downs to the River Thames near the Goring Gap.

Whether you contract the services of an active travel tour company or you strike out on your own, you may want to consider England for your next active travel holiday. It’s fascinating history, quaint market towns and scenic byways make it a top choice among adventure travelers.


Permanent link to this article: http://activetraveltours.com/active_travel_tours/active-travel-tours-in-england

Apr 06

Finding an Active Travel Tour Company is all About Location, Location, Activity

Unlike real estate, location isn’t everything when it comes to finding an active travel tour company, but it is important.

Active Travel Tour Location

global internet access

A world of active travel tours awaits.

So let’s talk about location first. For many people, location is everything when it comes to planning a vacation. They absolutely must find a trail in England, a bike route in Italy, or a hike in Colorado. So location is a great starting point for planning your vacation. First of all, if you think the best biking is in France, then that will inform your decision on planning an adventure tour there. In addition, the weather is another factor for planning your next active vacation. Whereas March may be a great month for a trail ride in Florida, it probably would not be such a great month for a bike trip to Alaska. So definitely consider the weather when planning your next active travel vacation.

Active Travel Tour Activities

But location isn’t everything when planning your active travel holiday. Active travelers usually have favorite holiday activities such as trail biking, trail running, hiking, snowshoeing, or inline skating. The availability of your favorite activity is every bit as important as your active travel location. Make sure you choose an active travel company that features the type of activities that best suits your needs. You will find many active travel businesses, so if one tour company doesn’t have the activity you love, keep looking. There are numerous tour companies that specialize in your favorite activity, whether that is sea kayaking, scuba diving, bicycling or back packing. Below is a very small sampling of some of the great active travel tour companies available:

Active Travel Tour Companies


Permanent link to this article: http://activetraveltours.com/active_travel_tours/finding-an-active-travel-tour-company-is-all-about-location-location-activity

Feb 23

Ralph Waldo Emerson on World Travel

“Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us, or we find it not.” – Ralph Waldo Emersontrail through deciduous forest

“Where’s Waldo?”  – Mrs. Emerson

Permanent link to this article: http://activetraveltours.com/active_travel_tours/ralph-waldo-emerson-on-world-travel

Feb 03

Trikke Skki Inn a Great Success

The folks at Trikke Training hosted an incredible Skki Inn this year. Attended by over 40 people, it was a success in every imaginable way.

Trikke Skki users at Snow Basin Utah

Do it on 3 Skkis!

First, the accommodations were superb. Most participants lodged in beautiful and comfortable townhouses that afforded just the right combination of camaraderie and coziness. In addition the dinners were delicious and provided just the right warmth and nourishment after a fun day on the slopes.

Speaking of the slopes, I think I speak for everyone when I say that the Trikke Skkis were an absolute blast. Standing up on three Skkis in a pair of comfortable boots and gliding across the snow was like riding on a cloud. Oh sure, like all new technologies, turning and stopping took a little getting used to. Fortunately, there were ample instructors to show participants how to operate the Trikke Skki. All in all, it was fairly obvious that the learning process for a Trikke Skki was much simpler than what is required for skiing or snowboarding.

One of the most unique and enjoyable characteristics of the Skki Inn was the mix of people. There were Skkiers of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities. As a special treat, both the owner/inventor of the Skki and the CEO of the company joined us for a couple days on the slopes. Gildo Bileski and John Simpson jumped right into the mix showing both style and class as they mingled with participants on the slopes and back at the lodging area.

In addition to the fun and games on the ski hill, organizers Fred Welch and Ann Pirone provided a series of games and activities to facilitate many evenings of mixing and mingling among the hearty Skki Inn revelers. Such activities as (a very special) mini golf, name games, and a new twist on the children’s game “Popper” allowed participants to socialize and celebrate together. The whole event came to a warm and fuzzy crescendo on the final evening with a very special awards ceremony and recognition celebration.

Although the good old standbys of hiking, biking, and snowshoeing are a lot of fun, it was an absolute joy to partake in this relatively new and exciting active travel venue with the Trikke Skki. If you’ve never tried the Trikke wheeled vehicles or Skkis, you’re in for a treat. Maybe you’ll get a chance to join us at next year’s Skki Inn.

Permanent link to this article: http://activetraveltours.com/active_travel_tours/trikke-skki-inn-a-great-success

Jan 17

Bike Overnight Tours & Trips

You enjoy active travel tours, but you don’t have the time or money to go on them very often. I have a hunch that keeps a lot of people from enjoying more bike trips and other active travel vacations. Fortunately, there’s a solution to the problem.

bicyclist pulling a small trailer

Hit the trail.

Overnight Bike Tours

Thanks to a fairly new website called Bike Overnights, you can join or plan a brief overnight bicycle vacation without breaking your piggy bank or free-time bank. BikeOvernights.org allows bike riders to plan short bike trips with other biking fans. These are not full-blown bike tours that last for a week, but they’re also not those daily neighborhood rides that are starting to get a little old.

Bike overnights provides information about bike trips all throughout the United States and Canada including such destinations as Vermont, Ontario, Washington, Colorado, and Pennsylvania. There’s even an event planned for New Zealand.

Active Travel Planning Tools

In addition to the actual bike getaways, you can also find some great information about planning your active travel tour including:

  • family touring information
  • deluxe touring details
  • some how-to articles
  • recipes & food
  • photos
  • routes & rides
  • travel tips
  • bed & breakfast suggestions
  • ideas for bargain travel planning (see “Cheap”)
Check out Bike Overnights and let me know what you think. I don’t know about you, but I hope to get a lot of use out of this great bike travel website.

Permanent link to this article: http://activetraveltours.com/active_travel_tours/bike-overnight-tours-trips

Jan 12

Active Travel Vacations are “Red-Hot” According to Money Magazine

In a recent Money magazine article, writer Abigail Bassett & Beth Braverman actively touted the benefits of active travel as a way to enjoy a health vacation and to save some money to boot. According to the article, the adventure travel category “has been growing 17% a year, even as economic woes slowed leisure travel…”

In addition to providing travelers with a “renewed sense of passion and purpose,” active travel can provide a

four people in a canoe

active travel for your physical & fiscal health

vacation escape that “will blow your mind without blowing your budget.” Two of the money-saving tips provided by Bassett and Braverman include planning your active travel tour during the shoulder season, when tour prices are lower and seeking local mom & pop tour providers. One xample of a shoulder season tour includes rafting in the spring rather than the summer. This makes sense because the crowd will be smaller, the waters may be more exciting, and the fares are usually less. As for mom & pop tour companies, the authors suggested looking for companies that have been in business for at least ten years and are endorsed by other locals such as the concierge at your hotel.

Of course, here at ActiveTravelTours.com, we write reviews about tour companies of all sizes and price-ranges and, unlike many other websites and tour companies we contact individual adventure-travel companies and discuss everything from the size of their tours to their tour experience and their philosophy on active travel. So keep checking back with us and don’t hesitate to share your travel experiences in the comment section below.

Permanent link to this article: http://activetraveltours.com/active_travel_tours/active-travel-vacations-are-red-hot-according-to-money-magazine

Jan 06

Self-Guided Tour May Be Your Best Active Travel Tour Option

You want a bike vacation, but you don’t want to go at your own pace and you don’t want to spend a lot.

Fortunately for you, options abound in the active travel and adventure travel worlds. But it sounds like your best option would be a self-guided tour. Self-guided tours have the double benefit of allowing for a great deal of independence as well as a reduced price. Whether it has any downsides depends on your travel preferences. If you like to sit back and let guides run the show, then guided tours may not be for you. But if you have an independent streak and/or an economical streak, then you’ll want to look into either self-guided or hosted tours.logo for Otago rail-trail planner website with two bicyclers on trail

One company that offers self-guided tours of New Zealand’s Otago Rail Trail can be found at the Otago Rail Trail Planner website. Rebecca and Noel Matthews of Mt. Ida Adventure Tours offer both fully guided and self-guided tours of the famous New Zealand rail-trail. Both their fully guided and self guided options are reasonably priced, but if you want to save around $400 and go at your own pace, then you’ll want to choose the self-guided option.

Keep in mind, even with most self-guided tours (including those offered on the Rail Trail Planner website, you still get a lot of helpful amenities. For example, on the Personalised Self-Guided Rail Trail Package, you still get airport transfers, lodging, breakfasts, bus transfer, bike hire (rental) and bag transfer. For an extra $40, you even get to experience the sport of curling.

So as you can see, even if you choose a self-guided tour, you’re not left to fend for yourself. You still get all the  basic services you need for an enjoyable tour. And since the tour is on a major rail trail, the chances of you getting lost are pretty darned slim. It’s basically a choice between whether you want a tour company to hold your hand or offer a helping hand.

We’d love to hear if you’ve ever had any experiences with self-guided tours, fully guided tours, or the Otago Rail Trail. And hey, if the folks from the Otago Rail Trail Planner site happen to read this, we’d love to hear from you, too.

Permanent link to this article: http://activetraveltours.com/active_travel_tours/self-guided-tour-may-be-your-best-active-travel-tour-option

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