Backroads Pedals Into 2012

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Backroads, a California-based tour company specializing in active travel, has been offering the ultimate vacation experience for biking enthusiasts for over 30 years. And after another successful year in 2011, the company expects that 2012 will be better than ever.

“Business in 2011 was very healthy and we expect 2012 to be another very successful year,” saysMassimo Prioreschi,  Backroads’ v.p. of sales and marketing. “In addition to increasing demand for Backroads trips, we believe the launch of our new programs will continue to set us apart from our competitors and add new business.”

Indeed, in addition to debuting several new Singles+Solos trips and new pro-level specialized bike tours, travelers can expect a slew of new itineraries, showcasing France, Spain, Ireland, Iceland, Canada and the U.S.

On the new Dolomites: Epic Alpine Passes in Northern Italy tour, for instance, avid  bicyclists will be thrilled by the possibility of conquering 14 alpine passes in six days. Highlights include rides on some of Italy’s most epic routes, an evening of Michelin-starred cuisine, and a close-up look at a captivating mix of Italian, Austrian and Ladin cultures of this region. Rates for this 5-night itinerary start at $3,998 pp dbl and include lodging at Hotel Goldener Adler in Bressanone (one night), Hotel La Perla in Corvara (two nights) and Hotel de la Poste in Cortina d’ Ampezzo (two nights).

Europe-bound travelers can also discover Ireland on the 5-night Counties Cork & Kerry in the Southwest itinerary, which includes bike rides through the classic Irish landscapes of green hills, small farms and quaint villages, as well as the rugged Beara Peninsula. Other highlights of this trip include a private whiskey tasting and a visit to the beautiful gardens of Garnish Island. Rates start at $2,998 pp dbl and include accommodations at the Brook Lane Hotel in Kenmare (two nights), The Maritime Hotel in Bantry (two nights) and Friar’s Lodge in Kinsale (one night).

If a multisport itinerary is more your client’s style, recommend Canadian Rockies: Biking, Hiking & Rafting in Banff & Yoho National Parks, a 5-night trip that features some all-time favorite spots in Banff and Yoho national parks. On this tour, guests will have the opportunity to bike to Lake Minnewanka while taking in views of Mount Rundle and Cascade Mountain, trek through the historic plain of Six Glaciers Teahouse on Mount Victoria and raft on the Kicking Horse River in Yoho National Park—they might even spot some deer moose, elk and black bears along the way. Rates run $3,398 pp dbl.

“It goes without saying that Backroads trips appeal to cyclists; and we also have a thriving walking and hiking program, which has been going strong since 1992,” says Prioreschi. “But a Backroads vacation is much more than just a ride through the countryside or a walk in the forest. We like to think of our guests as well-rounded individuals who are deeply curious about the world. And, like us, Backroads travelers believe there’s just something about exploring the world under your own power that makes life even sweeter. With your body in motion, pedaling from vineyards to medieval hill towns or hiking through glacier-scoured valleys, you can experience a region with an immediacy that’s simply impossible to obtain from behind a steering wheel or through a train window.”

For 2012, Backroads has also added to its array of family offerings. “These trips are exclusively designed for families with kid-sized routes and activities,” explains Prioreschi. “They also feature family-friendly prices.”

On the new Galapagos & Andes Family Multisport itinerary, parents and little ones can discover this exciting region with hikes and bike rides in the Andes, up-close wildlife viewing with a Galapagos naturalist guide, snorkeling and kayaking with tropical fish and white-tipped reef sharks, a visit to the rarely visited Floreana Island and even a scavenger hunt through the Otavaleño Indian village. Rates run $4,998 to $5,898 pp dbl.

Other new itineraries include Iceland: Natural Wonders of the Southern Coast, Mallorca: Spain’s Idyllic Mediterranean Island, Costa Rica: Through the Cloud Forest to Arenal Volcano and Colorado: Silver Mining Towns of the San Juan Mountains, among others.

For more information on these and other new itineraries for 2012, visit