As the days grow shorter and the snow gets deeper, Colorado Ski Country USA (CSCUSA) resorts are ready to ring in the winter holidays with lodging packages, fun family activities, and a variety of festive events. From Kids Ski Free promotions and on-mountain holiday dining to skiing with Santa in his natural high alpine habitat and New Year’s fireworks galore, guests at Colorado’s ski resorts can celebrate the winter holidays as they were meant to be experienced.
Following are highlights of some of the holiday activities and programs visitors to CSCUSA resorts can enjoy in the coming weeks:
New Year’s Eve Moonlight Dinner, December 31
Guests at Arapahoe Basin can ring in 2015 on the Continental Divide in a rustic, romantic setting in the glow of the full moon. Chef Christopher Rybak will serve a gourmet four-course meal at mid-mountain’s Black Mountain Lodge that is sure to start the New Year off right. Dinner begins at 7:00 pm and attendees will celebrate New Year’s Eve with New York at 10:00 p.m. with a glass of champagne and party favors. Because of New Year’s Eve’s proximity to the full moon, this will also serve as the January instalment of Arapahoe Basin’s Moonlight Dinner series. This event is lift-served; please, no hiking. Cost: $98 plus tax. For more information please call 888-ARAPAHOE or visit www.arapahoebasin.com
Kids ski free with the purchase of an adult lift ticket, rent free with the purchase of an adult equipment rental and stay free. Kids also eat lunch free with a comparable adult purchase at select on-mountain restaurants. Equipment rentals include ski and snowboard packages and individual items. Package must be booked by December 2, 2014 and is valid December 20-25, 2014. It also must be booked with a Stay Aspen Snowmass vacation expert by calling 800.290.1326. For more information, visit www.stayaspensnowmass.com .
The Twelve Days of Aspen, December 20-31
Downtown Aspen celebrates the 12 Days of Aspen with everything from free ice skating, tree lighting ceremonies with hot cocoa and carolers and guests might even spot Santa skiing down the hill. Two fireworks shows light up Aspen Mountain on New Year’s Eve amidst prix fixe dinners and free flowing champagne parties. For more information, visit www.aspenchamber.org
The Twelve Days of Copper, December 20-31
The holidays at Copper Mountain feature skiers skiing, riders sliding, holiday shopping, happy hours hopping – twelve days of events, discounts and holiday surprises. There will be enough holiday cheer to go around with activity, après and dining specials. In addition, guests can take care of their holiday shopping and take advantage of discounts at Copper’s fine retail establishments. Details will be available at www.CopperColorado.com
Crested Butte Mountain Resort (CBMR)’s Grandest Christmas package features four nights of lodging at The Grand Lodge and three days of skiing or riding at CBMR, including passes to the resort’s Adventure Park, for a family of four (2 adults and 2 kids 17 and under) for $999. Dazzling twinkle lights line Elk Avenue, ice sculptures adorn the base area, and crowds gather for the Torchlight Parade as skiers wind down the mountain on Christmas Eve. The Grand Lodge is located just 200 yards from the chairlift, making first tracks on Christmas morning a definite possibility. To book visit www.skicb.com/deals or call 844-993-9545.
Light Up the Night, December 12 – 13
Light Up the Night weekend kicks off the 12 Days of Cheer in town on Friday, December 12. The parade will start at 5:00 pm and culminate with a tree lighting. The fun continues on Saturday, December 13 in the Lodge at Mountaineer Square for some holiday cheer. The S’mores station starts at 5:00 pm and the tree lighting happens at 5:30 pm, followed by photos with Santa.
Santa Day, December 14
Crested Butte Mountain Resort is sponsoring a “Santa Ski and Crawl” in hopes of breaking the Guinness Book of World Records for the most number of skiers in full Santa costumes. Santa crawlers need to be decked out in a full Santa suit in order to participate. CBMR is offering $22 lift tickets for those in full costume and lodging deals for participants when booking with Crested Butte Vacations (888-879-7317). After the group ski, a pub crawl will start on the mountain and finish at various watering holes in downtown Crested Butte. More information visit www.cbsantacrawl.com
Christmas Eve at Crested Butte Mountain Resort, December 24
Resort guests can watch Santa come down the mountain in a sleigh pulled by a snowcat and then stay to watch the Crested Butte Ski and Ride School perform their famous torchlight parade down the front side of the mountain.
Christmas Dinner at Uley’s Cabin, December 25
Uley’s Cabin is an epicurean adventure in Crested Butte and is hosting a special Christmas meal to bring good cheer. Guests will board a sleigh ride to a cabin nestled in the woods, where a four-course meal and a roaring fire await. With a menu of roasted chestnut soup, winter green salad and a choice of Colorado venison, beef tenderloin or a roasted half duckling and finishing with a house made Scottish toffee cake, the evening will be one to remember. Reservations can be made at www.skicb.com/uleys. For more information about holiday events and promotions at Crested Butte, visit www.skicb.com
Ski and Ride Loveland with Santa
Skiers and snowboarders who venture to Loveland around Christmastime can find themselves riding the lifts and slopes with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Visit www.skiloveland.com for more information
Santa Skis (or Rides) Monarch on Christmas Eve
Parents can bring the kids up to Monarch on Christmas Eve to meet Santa and spend a day on the mountain.
New Year’s Eve / 75th Anniversary Party
Monarch will be holding its traditional New Year’s Eve party, with fireworks, torch-light parade and local brews. The party starts as soon as the lifts close at 4:00 pm. This year, Monarch is hosting a bigger bash than usual in celebration of its 75th Anniversary. For more information, visit www.skimonarch.com
Powderhorn’s New Year’s festivities will feature its annual Torchlight Parade and Fireworks display, with music playing throughout the day and an after-party in the lodge following the fireworks. The Torchlight Parade and fireworks can be seen all across the valley below. For more information, visit www.powderhorn.com
Purgatory at Durango Mountain Resort
Celebrate the Holidays with Friends and Family at Durango Mountain Resort
Santa and Mrs. Claus will visit Durango Mountain Resort, arriving via horse-drawn sleigh so the reindeers can rest up, on Sunday, December 21 and Wednesday, December 24. Guests will enjoy a special Christmas dinner buffet, live music, holiday kids’ movies, après ski hot cocoa and s’mores, Kids Night Out at the Den Childcare Center, and more throughout the holiday week.
Torchlight Parade and Fireworks
Purgatory at Durango Mountain Resort will usher in the New Year with a Torchlight Parade and Fireworks Display, as well as a celebration for kids at 10:00 pm with party favors, and a celebration at midnight for adults with live music and a New Year’s Eve toast.
Resort guests can enjoy horse-drawn sleigh rides on the snow, alpenglow snowshoe tours with spectacular views, dog sledding, and more fun on the snow. For more information and packages, log on to www.SkiPurg.com .
Ski Granby Ranch
Winter Wonderland, December 24 – January 4
Granby Ranch is hosting Winter Wonderland December 24 through January 4. On Christmas Eve guests can ride the slopes with Santa from 9:00am-12:00pm or visit him at the base from 12:30-2:45. Following a day of skiing and snowboarding, visitors to Granby Ranch can celebrate Christmas Eve with a service at the Base Lodge at 5pm. From December 26-30, guests can extend their ski day with free horse-drawn carriage rides from 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm.
New Year’s Eve Festivities, December 31
Ski Granby Ranch guests can ring in the New Year at a family dance party from 4:00-9:30pm. A glow stick parade, torchlight parade, and fireworks begin at 6pm.
Ice Maze and Ice Games, January 2-4
From January 2-4 visitors can see the work of Cool Hand Ice and his team as they create an ice maze and ice games for the whole family to enjoy. For more information, visit www.granbyranch.com
Demo Days with Santa, December 20-21
Sunlight Mountain Resort hosts its annual Demo Days with Santa winter event on December 20-21. Guests have the opportunity to try new skis and boards for free while the kids visit with Santa. This is an opportunity to find the best Christmas present ever; for more information visit www.sunlightmtn.com
Torchlight Parades and Fireworks, December 31
To ring in the New Year, the Steamboat Snowsports School treats guests to spectacular on-snow parades down the mountain lit only by torches. In conjunction with the torchlight parades, a fireworks display will illuminate the sky, providing a perfect ending to the evening.
Kids Torchlight Parades, December 26, 2014; January 1, 2015
The young ones will get a chance to ski down the mountain and join in the excitement of night torchlight parades on these two select holiday evenings. Before the mountain lights up for night skiing, these young skiers illuminate the evening sky as they snake their way down the slopes to the base area with glow sticks and smiles almost as bright.
Steamboat Holiday Festival, December 21
Resort guests can celebrate the holiday season Steamboat Style at gondola square, featuring Santa riding down the slopes on horseback. Guests can participate in the stocking scramble and collect free holiday treats at surrounding stores and restaurants. Additional festivities include cookie decorating, story time and a special holiday concert by the Face Vocal Band as seen on NBC’s the “Sing Off” and “America’s Got Talent.” The party continues after dark with a torch light parade and fireworks followed by night skiing. For more information, visit www.steamboat.com.
Chefs from the resort meticulously construct a multiple story gingerbread house, which goes on display at the resort’s downtown shop during the annual holiday celebration. This work of art takes a team several days to construct in all its holiday glory. Guests at the Steamboat Grand can make their own gingerbread houses on 12/26 and 12/30.
Merry MainStreet – Downtown Steamboat
MainStreet Steamboat and the businesses along Lincoln Avenue will be hosting Merry MainStreet. The event will include open houses in the stores, a gingerbread house contest, themed and decorated holiday store windows, Santa’s light parade, visits and photo opportunities with Santa in the center of Downtown, carolers, performances by local groups. The “Steamboat Santa Crawl” featuring sample sizes of holiday beverages will be offered in several of the restaurants. For more information, visit www.mainstreetsteamboat.com/
Holiday Prelude, December 3-14
Together with the Town of Telluride and the Town of Mountain Village, the destination is offering 12 days of special events and discounts. Holiday Prelude goes from December 3-14 and begins with Noel Night, where merchants in downtown Telluride offer discounts in their stores for all patrons. As the week progresses, the annual Ski Tree will be lit on Friday, December 6. The Ski Tree is a sculpture, made from recycled skis, that looks like a decorated fir.
Jingle Jam, December 12
The Jingle Jam features discounts at retail outlets throughout Mountain Village, free train rides for kids throughout the village plazas, a tree lighting ceremony, free sledding, and the grand opening of the new Burton store in Heritage Plaza.
North Pole on Ice, December 12 -13
The grandest part of the 12 day celebration is a two-night ice skating show at Mountain Village, “The North Pole on Ice”, featuring ice skating medalists doing jumps, dizzying spins and creative lifts on December 12 and 13. Full details on Telluride’s Holiday Prelude can be found at http://www.visittelluride.com/holidayprelude
Torchlight Parade and Fireworks Show, December 24
A Christmas Eve tradition since 1978, the slopes of Winter Park will be aglow with the annual Torchlight Parade and fireworks show. The fun begins at dusk with Christmas carols around a bonfire built at the base of Winter Park next to the Zephyr Express Lift. As night falls, a procession of over 100 torch-bearing skiers and riders begin their way down Lower Hughes trail, followed by Santa Claus and his elves. Snowcats adorned with Christmas colors then light up the slopes in a Christmas tree formation, as a spectacular fireworks show lights up the skies. After the show, visitors are welcome to attend Christmas Eve interdenominational services located in the lower level of Balcony House and a Catholic Mass in West Portal Level 4. Santa can also be found both in the Village as well as on the slopes in the days leading up to Christmas Eve. For more information, visit http://www.winterparkresort.com
Known for its delicious homemade food, during Thanksgiving and Christmas Day, Wolf Creek Upper Lodge Chefs will prepare a festive holiday lunch especially to celebrate the holidays. Cornish Game Hens are baked until golden brown and served with mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans and a choice of dessert. The Thanksgiving and Christmas lunch specials are available for $10.00.
In addition, Santa Claus will be visit Wolf Creek Ski Area on both Christmas Eve and Christmas day. He’ll spread holiday cheer around the mountain by handing out candy canes and mingling with guests. For more information, visit www.wolfcreekski.com.
Madison, WI – Trek Travel, a leader in personalized cycling vacations, has the perfect gift for the adventurers in your life this holiday season: Trek Travel Luxury Cycling Vacations.
From Bali to Bourdeaux, consider gifting those who love to travel the world with some of Trek Travel’s most unique bike tours including these new 2015 Rides:
* Cycle the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Jatiluwih rice terraces.
* Attend a traditional Balinese performance at a local temple
* Raft the Ayung River
* Cycle quaint vine-lined roads in Sauternes
* Blend signature flavors at wine school in Saint Emilion
* Relax poolside at Hotel Golf du Medoc near Margaux
Ride Across Italy
* Bike from the Adriatic Sea to the Mediterranean Coast
* Wander the twisting alleyways of the medieval town of Gubbio
* Savor Pecorino cheese and Tuscan bruschetta in Piensa, a UNESCO World Heritage site
Vermont Bike & Beer
* Celebrate Vermont’s vibrant craft beer culture with visits to small artisanal breweries
* Hike to Stowe Pinnacle for great views of the surrounding countryside
* Private tasting of Mad River Valley small batch beers with locals at the Waitsfeld Inn
Trek Travel offers supported cycling vacations of a lifetime with expert Trek Travel guides and either the Trek Domane™ 5.9 road bike or Remedy 9 mountain bike, featuring Garmin Touring Plus GPS devices and Di2 electronic shifting (on road bike). Whereas most cycling tour companies charge a $300-$500 upgrade fee for pro-level bikes, Trek Travel trips include these in the trip price.
For details, visit Trek Travel, or call (866) 464-8735.
About Trek Travel
Based in Madison, Wisconsin, Trek Travel is an active vacation company specializing in cycling vacations. Each trip includes the use of a Trek Domane™ 5.9 bicycle featuring Garmin Touring Plus GPS devices and Di2 electronic shifting; accommodations; most meals, snacks and drinks for each day’s ride; daily route support; social hours; entrance fees to group events; transportation during the tour; comprehensive Trek merchandise, and more.
Trek Travel was formed in 2002 as the luxury bicycle touring arm of Trek, one of the world’s largest bicycle manufacturers. This year, the company marks its eleventh season offering luxury, economy, personalized bicycling vacations and Ride Camps around the world. For further information contact Trek Travel at 1-866-464-8735 or visit www.trektravel.com
The story of Magna Carta is to be promoted throughout the tourism sector, following the launch of the new Magna Carta trails at the Radisson Blu Edwardian May Fair Hotel London
Magna Carta is the foundation stone supporting the freedoms enjoyed by nearly two billion people in over 100 countries. As well as enshrining the Rule of Law and limiting authoritarian rule in England in the 1200s, it has over the centuries influenced constitutional thinking worldwide. It has been described as “England’s greatest export”.
A new website has been launched (www.magnacartatrails.com ) to provide visitors with a wealth of information about the range of towns and locations across the country associated with Magna Carta. These include major tourist destinations, such as the British Library, to some of the most beautiful Cathedrals, including Lincoln, Salisbury and Durham, to small towns and villages that all played an important role in securing Magna Carta almost 800 years ago.
At the core of the website are six new geographic tourist trails, each covering different aspects of the Magna Carta story to provide visitors with two to three day itineraries. The trails are designed to be self-guided, but a number of tour operators can also book elements of the trails for incoming visitors.
Radisson Blu Edwardian is the official hotel partner to the Magna Carta 800th Committee and is providing special rates for visitors during the anniversary year.
The trails include:
London to Windsor: 4 days
Salisbury and Wiltshire: 2 days
The cathedral cities of the north: 3 days
Kent and East Sussex: 3 days
East of England: 2 days
The heart of England: 3 days
Sir Robert Worcester KBE DL, chair of the Magna Carta 800th Anniversary Committee said: “We are keen to encourage visitors and all those interested in England’s heritage to visit the many sites associated with Magna Carta. This website and the suggested trails will be an invaluable source for everyone. They will be handy guides for the thousands of visitors who will converge on England from around the world next summer, wishing to explore the areas which are part of the Magna Carta story. Doing all six trails will take visitors just over a fortnight, immersed in 800 years of history.”
Last night’s launch celebrates Radisson Blu Edwardian, London’s status as the official hotel partner to the Magna Carta 800th Committee.
Judith West, Director of Partnerships introduced proceedings, saying “We’re delighted to be the official hotel partner to the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta. We recognise the importance of a strong heritage and values – we’re proud of ours. Founded in London in 1977, The Edwardian Group – who own and operate Radisson Blu Edwardian, London – have been developing leading hotels and hospitality brands ever since, with the guiding principle of delivering a truly exceptional and memorable experience for our guests, time and time again .
“Our properties are perfectly located across the capital and in Guildford, providing the ideal base when visiting the Magna Carta sites at the British Library, in the City of London, Runnymede and, indeed – with the superb transport links in London – to the rest of the Charter Cities in the UK ”.
The trails are designed to encourage domestic and international visitors to join the commemoration of the 800th anniversary of the sealing of Magna Carta on 15 June 2015 at Runnymede and other locations.
Momentum has been building for years in anticipation of 15 June 2015, exactly 800 years after King John added his seal to Magna Carta, as presented to him by the barons at Runnymede on the Thames near Windsor. The trails will add to the excitement of this momentous occasion in history.
Frank Baldwin, Chairman of The Battlefields Trust said: “When people think about Magna Carta they do not normally associate it with battles and sieges. But the Great Charter arose from the conflict between King John, his barons and the other European princes.
“The immediate consequences were eighteen months of fighting across England between King John and the Barons assisted by the French. These battles and sieges took places across England from Dover to Berwick and Exeter to Norwich.
“The Trust’s Magna Carta 800th Project is making an important contribution to the Magna Carta Trails and we are delighted to be associated with them.”
A printed leaflet is also available, which can be downloaded from the www.magnacartatrails.com website or will be available from Visitor Information Centres across the country and select Magna Carta locations. The six trails will also be on show at the World Travel Market at London’s ExCel from 3 – 6 November 2014.
We had a great 2014 summer season in Alaska. Despite being the rainiest summer on record in Haines, our groups enjoyed spectacular scenery, good river conditions, incredible wildlife viewing and the company of fantastic guides on our wilderness river expeditions.
The Tatshenshini, Alsek and Kongakut rivers each have their own unique flavor of adventure. We are already booking spots on our 2015 summer season. Join us on the river expedition of a lifetime!
We are offering a limited time early booking discount… see details below.
check out the CHILKAT GUIDES FACEBOOK PAGE for photos from last summer’s expeditions.
Early Registration Discount – 2015 season
Alsek River Expedition
Mt. Fairweather from Alsek Lake – Steve Merrow
Mt. Fairweather from Alsek Lake – Steve Merrow
Our 14-day Alsek is the ultimate Alaska wilderness rafting adventure and world-class expedition!
From the big drop at “Lava North”, to the class-5 helicopter portage at Turnback Canyon, this river expedition leaves a lasting impression of the ruggedness of the north. Experience the largest Guide prepping a sling load for the helicopter portage.contiguous protected park and wilderness area in the world…Kluane National Park, B.C. Tatshenshini-Alsek Provincial Park, and Glacier Bay National Park.
Today, most of the glaciers of the Alsek valley are retreating. In their wake has sprung a wide variety of life. Wild flowers bloom all summer, berries carpet the hillsides and mushrooms abound in the forests of alder, birch, evergreens, and cottonwood. On the steep hillsides, mountain goat and dall sheep feed on lush grass. Brown bear, wolves, lynx, wolverine, and black bear flourish in the pristine valley. Moose, ducks, geese, and swans, share marshes and ponds. Eagles, falcons, and a variety of hawks, soar in search of small prey. Kingfishers, jeagers, and arctic terns hover and dive for fingerlings in the river. Salmon
battle the swift current of the river to return to the same spawning grounds in which they were born.
Lava North on the Alsek River
Navigating “Lava North” Class IV rapid on the upper Alsek – Shaun Cornish
The trips reach their full crescendo at Alsek Lake, where the Grand Plateau and Alsek Glaciers create a face of ice nearly 8 miles wide, encircling a deep lake filled with huge icebergs. To see a massive piece of the glacier break off and thunder into the lake is one of those sights you will never forget. To top it all off, towering 15,000 feet above our camp, is the ice capped summit of Mt. Fairweather, the crown jewel of the Alaska coast.
Start Dates 2015
June 2, June 16 & July 19
Tatshenshini River Expedition
Icebergs on Alsek Lake on the last day of the Tatshenshini trip – Bart Henderson
Chilkat Guides is based in Haines, and the Tatshenshini is our backyard. This 9-day river trip is the epitome of the Alaska river trip and a must hit on everyone’s bucket list.
Guides cooking up a tasty meal on the Tat’ – Steve Merrow
The Tatshenshini is a classic Alaskan expedition, a pristine alpine river and sister river to the mighty Alsek. The Tatshenshini valley is filled with wild flowers that bloom all summer, while berries carpet the hillsides and mushrooms abound in forests of alder, birch, evergreens, and cottonwood. On the steep hillsides, mountain goats and Dall sheep feed on lush grass.
Brown bear, wolves, lynx, wolverine, and black bear flourish in the pristine valley. Moose, ducks, geese, and swans, share marshes and ponds. Eagles, falcons, and a variety of hawks, soar in search of small prey. Kingfishers, jaegers, and arctic terns hover and dive for fingerlings in the river. Salmon battle the swift current of the river to return to the same spawning grounds in which they were born. The river offers a combination of stunning
Day hiking above the Walker Glacier – Bart Henderson
scenery and incredible wildlife creating a pure fantasy right out of a Jack London Novel.
The trip culminates in the picturesque Alsek Lake, (picture above) on our way to Dry Bay and the Pacific Ocean.
June 18, August 7 & September 1
Early Registration Discount for all of our Tatshenshini & Alsek Summer 2015 dates.
Book by December 1st, and receive 10% off the following trip dates:
June 2 – Alsek River – 14 days
June 16 – Alsek River – 14 days
June 18 – Tatshenshini River- 10 days
July 19 – Alsek River – 14 days
August 7 – Tatshenshini – 10 days
September 1 – Tatshenshini – 10 days
We hope you’ll be able to join us!
By the end of 2015, a 27-kilometer bicycle lane should be running through the streets of Athens, according to a recent announcement by Greek Environment Minister Yiannis Maniatis and Athens Mayor Giorgos Kaminis. The environment minister said the bicycle lane will start from the northern suburb of Kifissia, pass through the city center and end in Faliro in southern Athens. The first phase of the bicycle lane will start with the construction of an 11-kilometer section between Gazi and Faliro. A contract has already been signed for the creation of the Gazi-Faliro section under a budget of 2.2 million euros.
Further information: http://news.gtp.gr/2014/09/17/athens-greece-to-get-bicycle-lane/
Pedal leisurely by day and luxuriate by night with award-winning tour operator ExperiencePlus!, where active travel experiences are a celebration of cycling, comfort, and culture.
What better way to end a day riding along quiet coastal roads and ancient vineyards than to be welcomed by a rustic and restored Italian farmhouse, a fairytale lakeside mountain resort, or an 18th-century Spanish manor house frequented by pilgrims along the famed Camino de Santiago route? Every ExperiencePlus! tour prioritizes comfort and ambiance making it easy to arrive, step out the door, and explore each new destination from our strategically-located accommodations either in the heart of town or in a rural magical setting.
Best of all, these accommodations are matched by creative culinary experiences. Every meal extends an invitation to taste and experiment – and to laugh with new friends by your side. Restaurants and cafés are selected for their authenticity, charm, and regional specialties. Whether you are about to sample a local Mozzarella di Bufala, rare Slovenian wines, or just good home-style cooking, each dining experience is a personal introduction to your host country.
Masseria Bosco – Congratulations to Masseria Bosco, recently recognized by The New York Times as one of 7 choice European Inns! This historic property (our featured hotel on the Cycling Southern Italy Plus! The Ionian Seaside tour) is situated on the Adriatic Coast between the spur and heel of Italy’s boot in Avetrana, Puglia – where ancient Greek and Italian culture mingle.
Known for the typical architecture of the Puglia region, the 16th-century Masseria Bosco is a stone farmhouse located on a secluded stretch of land near spectacular Ionian Sea. Formerly used as a farm, school, and a home to monks, it now features sophisticated furnishings, solar power, and a stunning pool surrounded by courtyard terraces and private dining niches.
For dinner you will sit down to a meal of handmade pasta, rich Puglia-style bread, and locally-sourced olive oil. Make yourself at home in this grand estate!
Hotel Triglav – Slovenia is an undiscovered destination and Lake Bled is simply a fairytale setting. Hotel Triglav offers the perfect respite on tour with Cycling the Lakes of Austria and Slovenia Plus! Ljubljana.
The old world charm and modern elegance of this stately property is encircled by unsurpassed lake and mountain views.
When it is time to rejuvenate after a day’s ride, the relaxing indoor pool and wellness center provide a menu of soothing treatments. It is always a bonus to experience 5-star dining, and Restaurant 1906 won’t disappoint! Their highly trained culinary team prepares magical blends of dishes re-imagined with a nostalgic Slovenian touch and sommelier-guided wine tastings.
Pazo de Andeade isa traditional countryside manor house and is featured as the star accommodation on our Cycling the Camino de Santiagotour (selected by National Geographic Traveler magazine as one of “50 Tours of a Lifetime”). Both welcoming and intimate, this historic home offers nine bedrooms, terraces, and a cozy reading room. The building itself is reminiscent of typical Galician architectural style which is a combination of granite and slate traditionally forming a structure with a thatched roof. Wander past the lush gardens to visit the inn’s historic chapel boasting a treasured altarpiece crafted by Compostelan master woodcarvers.
The owners of the house strive to attend to every detail to make each traveler’s experience unforgettable. Matching the region, the dinner fare ranges from seafood (including the regional octopus delicacy) and locally-sourced meats, to empanadas, and robust wines.
Pazo de Andeade is the perfect setting to enjoy nature and beauty of rural Spain before your trip on the Camino de Santiago comes to an end.
The great news is that all of these tours are currently on sale! Submit a $500 per person deposit before November 15, 2014 and save $200!
For information on other tours, please visit www.ExperiencePlus.com
Explore, the adventure travel specialist, has unveiled seven new destinations for its 2015/16 Cycling Adventures collection. Not only have the new offerings in the USA, Russia, Israel, Malta, Sicily, Ireland and Scotland added more choice for cyclists, but the 2015/16 collection now includes airport transfers for all customers. What’s more, all of Explore’s cycling tours include the hire of a good quality bike and as a launch incentive; Explore is offering 5% off new tours when booked before 5th November 2014.
As a new cycling destination for Explore, Israel by Bike offers a nine day, nearly 300km moderate graded cycling tour which encapsulates the culture, history and landscapes of Israel. Customers will explore the ancient city of Jerusalem, pedal along the Sea of Galilee and visit the biblical town of Nazareth. Customers will also be able to sample local wines and absorb the beautiful landscapes of the Carmel Range. Tours depart in March, April, September and October 2015 and cost from £1,990 per person. This price includes return flights; eight nights’ hotel accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis; bike hire; transport and the services of a tour leader, driver and cycle guide.
For an off the beaten track experience, Cycle Russia: Moscow to St. Petersburg captures the rural landscapes of Russia with these two magnificent cities. During this 10 day, easy to moderate graded cycling tour, customers will explore the great sights of Moscow including Red Square and the Kremlin; visit the beautiful Lake Seliger and Lake Valdaysky and ride between the historical villages in the picturesque Torzhok region. Customers will also discover the grand architecture in St Petersburg. Tours depart in May, June, July and September 2015 and cost from £1,590 per person. This price includes return flights; nine nights’ hotel accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis; four other meals; bike hire; transport and the services of a tour leader and driver.
Further afield, Cycle California is a 13 day, 540km moderate graded cycling tour journeying along the West Coast of the USA. Customers will cycle through the Napa Valley and sample wines from the region; pedal across the magnificent Golden Gate Bridge and explore Point Reyes National Seashore, where customers can relax on the beaches or admire the elephant seal colonies. The tour also travels to Santa Barbara where customers can cycle around the beautiful Lake Casitas. Tours depart in March, May, June, September and October 2015 and cost from £3,166 per person. This price includes return flights; 12 nights’ hotel accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis; 10 other meals; bike hire; transport and the services of a tour leader, cycle guide and driver.
Adding a wider selection of cycling tours to European destinations, Explore’s Cycle Western Sicily is an eight day; nearly 200km easy to moderate graded cycling tour of the beautiful Mediterranean island of Sicily. Customers will explore the pretty coastal towns, cycle the outstanding archaeological site of Segesta Doric Temple and discover the old quarter of the bustling town of Trapani. There will also be time to rest the bikes and enjoy a dip in the sea or customers may choose to visit the local hot springs. Tours depart in April, May, September and October 2015 and cost from £1,251 per person. This price includes return flights; seven nights’ hotel accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis; four other meals; bike hire; transport and the services of a tour leader, cycle guide and driver.
Alternatively, Malta and Gozo by Bike offers an easy to moderate graded cycling tour on the islands of Malta and Gozo. During the eight day tour, customers will explore the Ggantija temples in Gozo, ride along the northern coast and take an optional boat trip to the Blue Grotto. Customers will also visit the bustling streets of Valetta and the medieval city of Mdina. Tours depart in March, April, October and November and cost from £997 per person. This price includes return flights; seven nights’ hotel accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis; bike hire; transport and the services of a tour leader, cycle guide and driver.
Closer to home, Explore’s Cycle Ireland is a seven day moderate graded cycling tour costing from £893 per person*. During this tour, customers will uncover the Kerry coastline of Ireland; cycle the stunning Killarney National Park and the famous Slea Head Loop as well as journey through the mountainous landscapes of Tralee. Alternatively, Explore’s new Coast and Castles Cycling tour is a five day moderate to challenging cycling trip visiting Scotland and costs from £455 per person**. Customers will cycle from Newcastle to Edinburgh, enjoying the breath-taking scenery and cultural heritage along the route, as well as explore the Tweed Valley and the inspiring Moorfoot Hills.
Ashley Toft, Managing Director of Explore commented, “Cycling holidays have been steadily increasing in popularity over the last few years. This year alone we have had a 25% rise in bookings and have seen substantial growth in regions such as Europe, North Africa and Central America. This is why we have expanded our cycling collection and offered new tours for cyclists of all abilities.”
He continued, “Explore’s cycling tours offer great value for money. Our 2015/16 collection now includes free airport transfers for all customers, whether they have booked their own flights or have booked them with Explore. Additionally, unlike most other operators, we include the hire of high-quality bikes in the cost of all our trips, which eliminates any additional costs or hassle associated with taking a bike on holiday.”
For further information, or to book, visit www.explore.co.uk or call 0844 0499 0901.
Government funding of NZ$8 million to maintain and enhance the Great Rides of New Zealand will help ensure the trails are delivering the best possible visitor experience, says Evan Freshwater, Manager Nga Haerenga The New Zealand Cycle Trail Inc. (NZCT).
The government announced criteria today for the NZ$8 million contestable fund over four years.
“This new funding will be used to maintain and improve safety and quality across this world-class network of 23 Great Rides,” says Mr Freshwater.
“For example, the fund will allow trail managers to realign sections of trail where the gradient may exceed what is desirable for their riders, improve the trail surface or build bridges or boardwalks. The funding can also be used to make repairs after storm damage.”
Mr Freshwater says the 23 Great Rides span the length of the country and range from gentle family rides along scenic coastal cycle trails to remote off-road trails that take visitors deep into the great outdoors.
He says the cycle trails have proved a catalyst for new businesses and are creating jobs and wealth in communities throughout the country.
“The Great Rides are encouraging visitors to travel more widely and do more while they are in New Zealand, which is aligned with Tourism 2025, the tourism industry’s new growth framework.
“Tourism New Zealand research shows that around 4% of international holiday visitors do some sort of cycling while they are in New Zealand and that on average, cycling visitors spend more than other international visitors.”
For more information:
Nga Haerenga The New Zealand Cycle Trail
DDI: +64 4 496 4899
Mobile: +64 27 587 3124
The natural hot springs in Banff National Park are where it all started – the establishment of the Canadian National Parks system that is, as well as Banff’s love of all things R&R. Long ago, back in 1883, travelers were allured to the warm natural springs for their medicinal qualities and journeyed to Banff on the newly constructed Canadian Pacific Railway to take a dip in the soothing waters. This appreciation of finding wellbeing in the heart of the Rocky Mountains has continued through the years, with Banff being the perfect spot to take in some relaxation & rejuvenation.
The spectacular, postcard-perfect backdrop of Lake Louise is ideal to find your true zen, perhaps by taking in some guided yoga with the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise’s Yoga Retreats, for a weekend stay filled with mindfulness discussion, meditation classes and yoga with host Tracey Delfs of Balance Quest. (October 17-19, 2014 & Feb 27-March 1, 2015).
Then, take your ‘Namaste’ to the next level with some mountain-top heli-yoga or stretch out ski legs with Sunshine Village’s restorative yoga mountain retreat. The program combines a majestic Rocky Mountain ski experience with the serenity of an on-mountain yoga practice and delicious, healthy organic food prepared by Executive Chef Martin Brenner at the peaceful Sunshine Mountain Lodge. www.SkiBanff.com
Not that adventurous as a yogi? Simply relax in one of Banff National Park’s quality spas such as The Fairmont Banff Springs’ Willow Stream, The Rimrock Spa or Red Earth at the Banff Caribou Lodge for a holistic pamper. Be good to yourself by sampling some delicious, organic food dishes at Banff’s vegetarian vegan tapas-style restaurant, Nourish, or detox with some freshly-squeezed goodness from Banff’s newest juice bar, Journey4Juice.
Frame the Rockies in Banff National Park
Capture the High-Definition Splendour of Banff & Lake Louise from Behind the Camera
We’ve all seen the classic shot of Lake Louise – clear turquoise water surrounded by white-tipped mountains – complete with the iconic red canoe. It’s no surprise that Banff National Park is the inspiration for both professional photographers, amateur snappers and Instagrammers from the world over. Banff’s dramatic peaks, green valleys and often camera-ready mountain wildlife make the area the perfect destination for capturing photographs that ‘wow’.
The annual Lake Louise Fall Festival is the ideal time to explore Banff National Park from behind the camera lens, as the area lights up with the golden colour of the larches. Photographers can easily explore many accessible locations for stunning shots, including: from the shores of Lake Louise, Moraine Lake, Lake Minnewanka, Tunnel Mountain, by the Bow River, from the Plain of Six Glaciers Tea House, Surprise Corner or from one of Banff’s gondolas – Banff Gondola, the Grizzly Gondola in Lake Louise or the Sightseeing Chairlift at Mt. Norquay, that all offer spectacular scenes. Take the memorable drive along the iconic Icefields Parkway, named one of North America’s ‘Drives of a Lifetime’ by National Geographic and shoot some footage from the heights of the recently-launched Glacier Skywalk. www.Brewster.ca/rocky-mountains/destinations/columbia-icefield/activities/glacier-skywalk/
Or, why not let an expert local photographer do the work for you? Mountain Bound Photography specializes in vacation photo shoots, offering various packages to photo-chronicle a day spent in Banff National Park! So, get in front of the camera and be a part of your own perfect mountain shoot, snapped enjoying your day of hiking, biking, paddling, having a lakeside picnic, skiing or playing with snowballs!
Comfort-Camping in Banff National Park
Take a ‘Boutique’ Approach to Back-to-Basics with oTENTiks and Equipped Camping!
Camping is a truly Canadian pastime. Those warm, summer evenings spent around the campfire sharing stories and roasting marshmallows are what makes for lifetime memories. Those that are new to camping or that like their home comforts, may feel the appeal of being at one with nature but perhaps are not quite sure about taking off into the backcountry and sleeping under the stars in a traditional tent.
Well, perhaps the oTENTiks from Parks Canada are the perfect solution! The oTENTik tent, a cross between a tent and a rustic cabin, offers a unique blend of ‘homey’ comfort and a taste of outdoor adventure – with a soft bed and campsite all ready to go! The oTENTiks are based at Banff’s Two Jack Lake campground, close to Banff townsite and can accommodate up to six people. PC.gc.ca/Banff
For those that like the simplicity of camping in a tent, but haven’t got the space in their suitcase or car for the equipment needed, look no further than Banff’s outdoor rental experts for car camping packages, backcountry packages and individual items! CampingBanff.com. For an insight into oTENTiks, see a ‘Real Banff’ video at: www.TheRealBanff.com/otentik/
Experience Banff’s Mountains of Gold
Hike Lake Louise in its Fall Golden Glory
For a unique Rockies getaway, look no further than the Lake Louise Fall Festival for the best that autumn has to offer: comfortable temperatures, seasonally-inspired menus and forests lit up with golden larches. Spice up your festival experience with a variety of events – from heritage activities to hiking challenges – or take in the mountain life at a slower pace.
The Lake Louise Fall Festival features many different experiential packages to appeal to all tastes, including interpretative sessions and wildlife presentations with Parks Canada, art exhibitions, photography workshops, yoga and delicious dining promotions. www.BanffLakeLouise.com/Area-Events/Festivals/Fall/Lake-Louise-Fall-Festival.
The ideal way to spend an afternoon in Lake Louise throughout September is to take a day hike, to enjoy the spectacular yellow-cold needles of the alpine larch. Take the Lake Agnes trail for a 2 – 3 hour round trip, or for a full day of exploring, try the Boulder Pass.
Find Your Stampede Spirit in the Rockies
Every July, the world goes crazy for all things cowboy as Alberta celebrates its heritage with the Calgary Stampede. If you’re saddling up for a trip to Calgary’s grand stadium to take in some rodeo action, why not find your inner cowboy (or cowgirl) and say yahoo to experiencing Banff on horseback?!
A backcountry trip with Holidays on Horseback is the perfect solution for an authentic Western experience. For the tenderfoot out there, you can try out the saddle for size with trail rides ranging from 1 – 7 hours.
Got your taste of the cowboy way of life? Then extend your trip to the full 5 day backcountry adventure, including overnight stays at Sundance and Halfway Lodges and a day trip to Allenby Pass. Interested? See some video inspiration from ‘The Real Banff’ at: www.TheRealBanff.com/hoh.
Just after a lil’ taste of Western?
Then look no further than Brewster Adventures, for a guided group trail ride on the Heritage Trails of picturesque Lake Louise. Jump on the saddle from Brewster’s century old stables in Lake Louise and take the famed Tea House rides to Lake Agnes and the Plain of Six Glaciers. Worked up a thirst? No cowboy-inspired trip to Banff is complete without swinging by Wild Bill’s, Banff’s legendary saloon! Start with some fried pickles and campfire cheese dip before tucking into some hickory smoked brisket and ribs, at the same time enjoying some old-fashioned country rock n’ roll. Yeehaa! www.WildBillsBanff.com
Moved by Mountains in Film and Fiction: The 2014 Banff Mountain Film & Book Festival
This winter (Nov 1 – 9, 2014), the 39th annual Banff Mountain Film & Book Festival comes to Banff National Park, hosted by The Banff Centre. Discover a nine-day cinematic and literature adventure of some of the world’s most inspiring films and books from the heart of the dramatic Canadian Rockies, with presentations from renowned guest speakers.
From feature films to featured speakers, there’s something for everyone. Sit back and devote a guilt-free day to watching inspiring films from around the globe – including World premieres. Spend a lunch-hour listening to a renowned author reading excerpts from her latest work – or attend a free noon-hour seminar profiling hot topics in adventure and travel.
Banff Mountain Film & Book Festival will then depart on an extensive international World Tour, showcasing its enthralling content to audiences around the world. The just-launched schedule can be viewed at: this link
Celebrate the Beginning of All-Things-Winter with the WinterStart Festival
Banff has always loved all things winter, so it’s no surprise that here, we eagerly anticipate the first snowfall! Experience the WinterStart Festival (Nov 28 – Dec 21). Imagine carving some early season turns at one of Banff National Park’s three ski resorts and strolling down the streets of Banff under the soft twinkle of festive lights.
Catch a glimpse of the world- class skiers in the classic mens’ and ladies’ Audi FIS Ski World Cup downhill and super-G races at the Lake Louise Alpine Ski World Cup, hosted by Lake Louise Ski Resort. After the thrilling races, head to WinterStart in the Square in downtown Banff for an early evening of family-friendly live entertainment and winter activities! See Banff’s main street come alive with music, treats and interactive animation! www.BanffLakeLouise.com/Area-Events/Festivals/Winter/WinterStart-Festival
Unwrap the Magic of Christmas in the Rockies
What’s more Christmassy than fresh white snow falling over mountain tops, hot chocolate and fondue by the open fire, pine trees decorated with twinkly lights – oh and a (reindeer) elk or two?! Banff National Park is the true winter wonderland experience that just calls out to be enjoyed at Christmastime. Enjoy the thrills of Christmas spent in the Rockies with a variety of festive events for the young and young at heart. Listen to Castle Carolers, become mesmerized by the artwork of professional ice sculptures and watch Banff Avenue brighten with the ‘Santa Claus Parade of Lights’.
For the truly magical Christmas, head to Banff’s own enchanting castle, The Fairmont Banff Springs for an unforgettable December of home-baked gingerbread cookies, skating parties, intimate candle-lit dinners for two, or maybe to join the Norse Yule Log Ceremony?! New for 2014, is Banff’s Christmas Market – imagine a unique browsing experience in the heart of a snowy Rockies’ scene, with Banff Christmas Market’s many stalls of fashion and gifts and live entertainment to top off the experience! Plus, no Christmas visit to the Rockies is complete without taking a horse-drawn sleigh ride through the snow, available from Banff’s outfitters such as Holiday on Horseback or Brewster Adventures.
Delve into the Rich History and Heritage of Banff National Park As Canada’s first National Park, Banff has many, many intriguing stories of the past to tell. In 1883 a group of Canadian Pacific Railway workers came upon what is now known as the Cave and Basin natural hot springs, which led to the Federal Government establishing the area as the Hot Springs Reserve and later, Rocky Mountain Park. Uncover some of Banff’s rich history with a historical walking tour of heritage buildings and sights from the older days. Stroll through Banff Park Museum National Historic Site, the oldest natural history museum in Western Canada and see the former residence of female pioneer Mary Schaffer. Visit the Whyte Museum of The Canadian Rockies and then why not join a guided interpretative group hike of Banff’s trails with an expert on hand to tell you about the history and culture of the local area, organized by Banff Heritage Tourism.
Take some time to explore the Buffalo Nations Museum and return to the days when the horse first arrived on the plains, and when Europeans discovered Native cultures rich in elaborate ceremonies, dances, songs, and legends. Then, enjoy a trip to where it started, the birth of Canada’s parks system and conservation history, the Cave & Basin Historic Site, and experience events including lantern tours, cinema-under-the-stars and a celebration of what was in the 20′s Winter Carnival, including skijoring! Make your way to Lake Louise and take a tour with one of The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise’s knowledeable Mountain Heritage Guides, part of Fairmont’s Mountain Adventire Program? Take a trip to one of the historic tea houses or challenge the summit of Mt Fairview. www.Fairmont.com/lake-louise
Of course a look into Banff’s history isn’t complete without discovering the fascinating western spirit of the Rockies. Why not travel by covered wagon and try an authentic Western Cookout with Holidays on Horseback? Try your hand at roping or challenge friends to a game of horseshoes while your delciious lunch of BBQ steak, baked potatoes and homecooked baked beans is cooked to order. Or join a traditional horse trail ride with The Brewster Family, from Brewster Mountain Adventures – reallife mountain pioneers and cowboys who have been taking care of visitors to the Canadian Rockies for over 100 years.
Let’s not forget Banff’s long-running relationship with winter sports and skiing too, with Mount Norquay establishing downhill skiing in 1926 as the first ski resort in the Canadian Rockies and even being graced by the presence of the iconic Marilyn Monroe in the 1950s. www.Banffnorquay.com/discover-norquay/.
Plus, throughout 2015, CMH, the inventors of heli-skiing, mark 50 years. Celebrate with CMH and discover how they developed the sport throughout the years, from their headquarters in Banff – each helicopter ascent delivers breathtaking views of legendary terrain where only a few make their mark. Canadianmountainholidays.com Take a Foodie Tour & Experience the Alternatives to Alberta Beef & Brew in Banff National Park!
Okay, so don’t get us wrong – in Banff National Park you are sure to find plenty of delicious, top-quality, locally-sourced AA Alberta beef and game dishes to devour (The Bison, Sleeping Buffalo at Buffalo Mountain Lodge and The Grizzly House’s hot rocks dining are all must-try experiences…). Canadiana cuisine is our specialty and with Banff’s microbrewery and much-loved brew pub, Banff Brewing Co., you’ll never be short of a refreshing homebrewed IPA or Cream Ale. However, Banff’s dynamic foodie scene offers much more diverse tastes and worldly flavours for the palette than simply beer and beef!
Why not try some Greek cuisine at The Balkan, Mexican tacos and tequila flights at the Magpie & Stump? Enjoy delicious German delights at The Fairmont Banff Springs’ Bavarian cottage-style Waldhaus Restaurant, taste award-winning fresh pizzas at popular hangout, The Bear Street Tavern, go back in time and have a romantic dinner at the historic Station Restaurant in Lake Louise or take in the tradition of afternoon tea in style at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, overlooking the shores of the iconic turquoise lake and the Victoria Glacier.
Bon Appetit is Banff’s annual celebration of all things foodie. Sweet and savoury, fresh and flavourful, the culinary options in Banff and Lake Louise will have your mouth watering during this food fest! From Nov 13 – Nov 23, exceptional restaurants come together and offer diners unique three-course menus.
The exceptional chefs, mixologists and sommeliers are also part of Banff National Park’s foodie stories. Take some time with J W Foster, the Fairmont Banff Springs’ Executive Chef who has over 25 years in the industry and a commitment to local, sustainable food, meet the passionate Liz Gagnon, Executive Chef at The Bison and hear about how she’s working with Alberta’s finest game producers, or meet Alistair Barnes, Executive Chef, Canadian Rocky Mountain Resorts who cleverly combines his continental influences from his Jersey Channel Islands’ upbringing with trends of Canadian cuisine to develop his own innovative cooking style. Then, mix it up with one of Banff’s finest mixologists, Matt Hendriks who is very much shaking up the Banff cocktail scene with carefully handcrafted cocktails, working with hand pressed juices and local fruits and reinventing old fashioned, straight spirit drinks!
This is the World’s Finest National Park
Here, there are mountains, grizzly bears and cowboys. There are emerald lakes that can be seen from space, and quiet forest glades that nobody has ever seen (yet). The skies are blue by day and shimmer red and green at night. There are luxurious castles in the realm where nature rules unconquered and unconquerable. It is the last place on earth that is anything like it. 2500 square miles of Canadian Rockies full of experiences – it is a bucket list of 1. Because here in the only protected mountain resort on earth, ‘Nature Rules’.
Stories to Inspire
The rich history and scenic drama of Banff National Park has been inspiring storytellers for generations. In 1885 when three Canadian Pacific Railway workers discovered natural hot springs near what is now the Town of Banff, one of Canada’s great stories, the creation of the nation’s first national park was born. Today, Banff National Park continues to provide limitless inspiration to modern story tellers and adventure seekers alike.
Whether you write about cuisine, skiing, heritage & culture, the outdoors, adventure travel or spa, you will find that Banff National Park is a destination rich in meaningful and memorable stories. Let us inspire you to tell those stories. For the latest story ideas, editorial photos, news releases and backgrounders, come find us at:
Fat Bike, Moped or Road Bike Your Way Around Banff National Park
The very best way to get around and explore all corners of Banff National Park is on two wheels – and there have never been so many options to get those wheels turning. New to Banff for the Summer of 2014, Banff Cycle is offering riders of all levels the chance to hit the road on a Cervelo road bike and experience the thrill of Banff’s stunning playground with their very own ‘Bike Concierge’.
Yep, for those that don’t have the equipment or know-how, Banff Cycle offers a drop-off, door-to-door rental service and dedicated expert guide to escort both individuals and groups on the journey of their lives – your ‘Bike Concierge’ will happily design you a custom-fit ride based on what you need and how extreme you want to go, from one day trips to one week adventures! BanffCycle.com
Missed a trip to Banff in the summer? No problem – take to the trails of Banff National Park in the winter too, on a fat bike!
The trend of fat-biking in the winter months is growing rapidly and comes to Banff for the winter of 2014-15 – the ideal way to enjoy many types of trails, packed, groomed or fresh powder snow covered! Rentals available from www.Snowtips-Bactrax.com
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