SpiceRoads Cycle Tours expands into North Africa with the launch of its first tour in Morocco.
Bangkok, Thailand (January 20, 2015) – SpiceRoads, one of the world’s leading bicycle tour operators, has launched an 8-day adventure Authentic Morocco by Bicycle through the awe-inspiring Atlas Mountains, the bone-dry Jbel Saghro and the lush palm plantations of southern Morocco.
This tour begins in the bustling ancient walled city of Marrakech with a city tour around the Medina and a night in a riad. The next morning the tour transfers to Telouet on the road to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Ait Benhaddou, the historic mud brick city that was featured in the film Gladiator.
The cycling starts here from the crumbling town of Telouet, high up in the mountains which were the stronghold of the feudal warlord, known as the ‘Lord of the Atlas’, during the French occupation. Down into the Ounila Valley to the stunning Kasbah village of Ait Benhaddou. Then on to the Dades Gorges, a spectacular gorge that lies between the High Atlas and Jbel Saghro Mountains (Jebel Saghro).
The tour continues through one of the most scenic parts of Morocco, the Draa Valley, past lush and seemingly endless date palm groves and a succession of traditional villages lying in green oases. The tour then transfers back to Marrakech via Tizi n’Tichka, a spectacular mountain pass that has been acknowledged as one of the most beautiful in the world.
The final day is bike-free as it’s time to relax the muscles, practice bargaining skills at numerous stalls selling everything from leather to ceramics, and enjoy a guided tour around Marrakech. There are also visits to the magnificent Palace of Bahia, the Saadian Tombs, which are exquisitely decorated and the Koutoubia Mosque – the city’s most famous and largest mosque.
Other highlights of the tour include sipping refreshing mint tea in Berber villages high in the mountains, indulging in succulent aromatic tagines, enjoying stunning panoramic views from Tizi n’Tzazert Pass and feeling like you have stepped back in time with nights in traditional riads.
This 8-day Authentic Morocco by Bicycle adventure covers 286-km in five cycling days. The daily distances are not too strenuous but the cycling largely takes place on unpaved roads, so it is recommended that riders have a moderate level of fitness. Upcoming departure dates are 15 March, 12 April, 17 May, 13 September and 11 October. The price is US$1,450 with an additional $285 for bike rental. SpiceRoads is offering US$150 off for the first three tours (March, April and May), use promo code MOROCCO when booking.
SpiceRoads is a specialist bicycle tour operator based in Bangkok offering a range of two-wheel tours in over 25 destinations worldwide. SpiceRoads tours cater for every level of cyclist and range from day trips to complete country explorations. Participants are invited to join tours with fixed date departures scheduled throughout the year, while private or tailor-made tours can be arranged for groups or individuals on request. The highly professional operation employs experienced cycle guides to lead all tours and has a fleet of well-maintained mountain and road bikes and support vehicles.
Please call or email for more information or photos:
Petty Holdings, LLC, Partners with Zero1 Desert Adventures for a new driving experience to begin on Tuesday, Feb. 17
LAS VEGAS – Petty Holdings, LLC, the parent company of Richard Petty Driving Experience and the worldwide leader in NASCAR stock car drive and ride entertainment, and Zero1 Desert Adventures Powered by RZR®, is bringing one of the wildest desert experiences to Las Vegas. Featuring the latest RZRs on the market, beginning Tuesday, Feb. 17, guests will have the opportunity to go on an extreme desert excursion through the Mojave Desert of Las Vegas on a 2015 Polaris RZR XP1000 EPS vehicle.
The 110 horsepower vehicles are equipped with state-of-the-art technology including all wheel drive, electronic power steering and an automatic centrifugal gearbox, which allows guests to enjoy some of the Mojave Desert’s most scenic landscapes. The guided tour which leaves from Jean, Nevada will go through the Mojave Desert and will consist of varying terrains ranging from slow and rugged to open and fast. During the tour, there will be brief predetermined stopping points which will allow guests to take photos, grab a water or snack, and switch drivers if sharing the experience.
Bring a friend to share an adventure or explore on your own; Zero1 Desert Adventures offers guests three different packages to choose from with an option to add-on a friend to any package for an additional fee. Adventure packages start at only $199. Drivers must be at least 16 years of age with riders being at least 14 years old. Choose from one of the following Desert Adventures that are offered at either 9 a.m. or 1:30 p.m.:
2 Hour Desert Adventure (1 Driver)
Price: $199 plus one $25 driver release fee
Drive your Polaris RZR for an hour on a guided tour through the Mojave Desert of Las Vegas
3 Hour Desert Adventure (1 Driver)
Price: $299 plus one $25 driver release fee
Drive your Polaris RZR for two hours on a guided tour through the Mojave Desert of Las Vegas
Half Day Desert Adventure (1 Driver)
Price: $449 plus one $25 driver release fee
Drive your Polaris RZR on a three-hour guided tour through the Mojave Desert of Las Vegas and enjoy lunch at the Pioneer Saloon
The first local Petty Holdings experience offered outside the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the Zero1 Base Camp is located at 21015 S. Las Vegas Blvd. Jean, Nevada, approximately 20 minutes from the famous Las Vegas Strip. Drivers and riders have the option to drive their own vehicle to base camp or enjoy complimentary round-trip transportation from their choice of five casino resorts located on the Las Vegas Strip to the Zero1 Base Camp. Pick up locations include the Rotunda area at Excalibur Hotel Casino Las Vegas, the North Tour Lobby at Paris Las Vegas, the Bus Loading Area at Treasure Island Hotel & Casino, the North Tour Valet at The Mirage Hotel & Casino and the Bus Depot at Harrah’s Las Vegas Hotel & Casino.
For more information or to book your Zero1 Desert Adventure, visit www.drivepetty.com/drive/zero1.
About Petty Holdings
Petty Holdings, LLC owns Richard Petty Driving Experience, the worldwide leader in NASCAR-style stock car drive and ride entertainment, which operates at 15 race tracks in the United States. It markets other Petty and Richard Petty branded and licensed ventures including Petty Safe Driving and Richard Petty’s Fantasy Racing Camp. It also provides motorsports support services to the commercial and film industries, mobile marketing event services and designs and executes ride and drive events for automobile manufacturers.
Headquartered in Concord, NC, Petty Holdings is a portfolio company of BV Investment Partners, a leading middle-market private equity firm, investing in the information and business services, communications, and media sectors.
May 2 – 12 ** Two double cabins and one female share space left
May 12 – 19 **One male share space left
An amazing South Pacific adventure! This will be REEF’s third time aboard the NAI’A, a custom-built diving liveaboard yacht. We will visit bountiful reefs around the famous Bligh Waters region of Fiji, while being pampered by a great crew. The soft corals and large schools of colorful anthias and other species will amaze you. We will also experience a traditional Fijian village and be treated to an evening of song and dance.Cost Per Person: May 2-12, $5,046. May 12-19, $3,534, all inclusive package with lodging, meals, and diving.
Visit www.REEF.org/node/9335 (week 1), www.REEF.org/node/9436 (week 2), for complete details, including what’s included and travel logistics.
Other Trips In 2015
See www.REEF.org/trips for complete information.
Grand Cayman – Wall to Wall Diving & Comfort Suites, Led by Jonathan Lavan – Mar 14-21 **Four spaces left (male and female shares available)
Bahamas – Invasive Lionfish Control Study, Led by Lad Akins and Peter Hughes – May 9-16 – SOLD OUT
Roatan – Anthony’s Key Resort, Led by Ned and Anna DeLoach – June 13-20 – Five spaces left
Grand Turk – Led by Paul Humann – July 11-18 – SOLD OUT
Bonaire – Buddy Dive, Led by Christy and Brice Semmens – Aug 1-8 – One female share space left
Curacao – Invasive Lionfish Control Study, GO WEST Diving and Kura Hulanda Lodge, Led by Lad Akins and Peter Hughes – Aug 22-29 – Six spaces left
Catalina – Led by Janna Nichols – Nov 1-5 – Spaces still available
Cozumel – Led by Tracey Griffin – Dec 5-12 – SOLD OUT
St. Lucia – Just Added! Led by Heather George, **details coming soon – Dec 5-12
We hope that your 2015 is off to a great start. If you haven’t yet booked a REEF trip, or if you are considering another, please take a look below. There are still a few spaces left, especially in the first half of the year when colder temperatures at home may make a tropical dive vacation look especially inviting.
In particular, be sure to check out our trips to Fiji aboard the luxurious NAI’A liveaboard. We have 5 spaces available (2 double cabins and one share female space), May 2-12, and 1 male share space left on our second trip, May 12-19.
To find out more information or to secure your space on the Fiji trip or any of our other 2015 trips, please contact us at trips@REEF.org or 305-588-5869. Check out www.REEF.org/trips for more information. REEF Field Survey Trips are a great way to learn about ocean life, while enjoying great diving and meeting new friends.
Durango, CO – Durango is an epicenter for a great number of things; outdoor pursuits in the surrounding high desert and mountains, fresh food raised at high-elevation farms, Native American history and Old West heritage are just a sampling of the things that lure people to Durango. 2015 is the year of the sheep, but don’t just follow the flock – step out and try some of the more unique things Durango has to offer.
From down-to-earth eateries, cafes and brewpubs to award-winning fine dining, our culinary offerings reflect the richness, creativity and uniqueness of the Southwest. The quantity of independent restaurants, quality of ingredients and breadth of menu selections in this town boldly challenge the sophisticated culinary offerings of any metropolitan hub. Stop in the historic and award winning El Moro Spirits and Tavern or spend a summer afternoon on the patios of more than 20 restaurants around town. With over 100 restaurants to choose from, Durango is a hotbed for cuisines that blend the absolute best flavors from around the world and from our own backyard.
Agriculture is at the heart of the Durango community supported by a strong “eat local” mindset and an abundance of locally grown and raised meat, vegetables and food products. At the Durango Farmers Market, local agriculturalists and artisans meet in a festive market venue to sell their harvests and talents. Agritourism brings visitors to learn about sustainability and enjoy an agri-vacation in this fertile mountain growing region.
6 Breweries and 2 Distilleries
Durango is one crafty little mountain town, and much of the artistic talent is funneled into creative, award winning libations. Whether it’s beer or spirits, the town has a draw you’re sure to enjoy. Self-proclaimed as the “City of Brewerly Love”, a trip to Durango isn’t complete without a pint from one of our six craft breweries and brew pubs: Carver Brewing Co., Durango Brewing Co., Ska Brewing Co., Brew Pub & Kitchen, Steamworks Brewing Co. and the newest addition: Animas Brewing Company. Due to readily available “first use” water, Durango is ideal for brewing award-winning beers, ales and lagers.
Durango Craft Spirits is the town’s first grain-to-glass distillery since prohibition; producing small batch, creatively distinctive distilled spirits using high quality regional ingredients. Colorado Honey from Honey House Distillery blends premium bourbon whiskey and Rocky Mountain Honey from Honeyville.
This beautiful walkable, bikable, bladable trail weaves its way through town alongside the Animas River. Watch rafts, kayaks, and SUP boarders splash through the newly improved Smelter rapid, swing by the Durango Powerhouse museum for interactive learning, events, eats and drinks. The Durango Library, Inhabit yoga, and the local Fish Hatchery are fun-for-all stops along the trail. Refuel with riverside craft ice cream from Cream Bean Berry, or dine on the river’s edge at The Animas River Café. If June finds you in Durango, be sure to check out Animas River Days.
History Comes Alive
West of Durango, Mesa Verde Country is the archaeological center of America: Mesa Verde National Park, the Ute Mountain Tribal Park, Hovenweep National Monument, the Anasazi Heritage Center and Crow Canyon Archaeological Center. Mesa Verde National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that allows visitors to experience the life of the Ancestral Puebloans. Or head east and visit the newly designated Chimney Rock National Monument.
When you’re ready to tuck yourself in for the night, here are some unique places to rest your head:
A bit of history… choose from one of our historic hotels: The Strater Hotel, built in 1887, is decorated with period decor, beautiful handcrafted woodwork, and the largest private collection of American Victorian walnut antiques in the world. It recently received the prestigious “Historic Hotels of America Legendary Family Historic Hoteliers of the Year Award”. The Rochester Hotel and Leland House, built in 1927 and 1892 respectively, have been renovated by a mother and son team. The décor boasts original antiques and woodwork, as well as Western-movie themed rooms. The General Palmer, built in 1898, blends the comforts of modern living with Victorian charm in the heart of the historic downtown.
Slopeside… The Purgatory Lodge at Durango Mountain Resort offers upgraded skier services and amenities, lodging facilities and the world-class Purgy’s Day Lodge. The family-friendly lodge features 2, 3 and 4 bedroom slopeside units, swimming pool and spa facility, ski and snowboard storage and more. Experience the quintessential skier’s dream with a good night’s sleep in a slopeside condominium, rental house or hotel room at Purgatory.
Cozy Inns & B&Bs… Unwind, pamper yourself and enjoy your stay in one of Durango’s charming inns or bed & breakfasts. Located downtown, out of town, creekside, lakeside or mountainside; find unique lodging, incredible hospitality and a respite from the ordinary.
Authentic Colorado cabins and ranches… Kick off your boots and experience the authentic Southwest at one of our working ranches. From rustic mountain lodges and lake front cabins, to all-inclusive guest ranches and resorts, saddle up for a western holiday.
Camp out on top of the world… At 6,512 feet above sea level, you’re closer to the stars. Choose from a plethora of campgrounds and RV parks for all levels of “roughing-it.”
Arts in the Community
Durango has a thriving art scene that touts both local and internationally renowned artists. A walk down historic Main Avenue reveals everything from small, local art cooperatives to galleries hosting work from world-famous artists. Wander out for the First Thursday Art Walk every month for a chance to peek in galleries and enjoy live entertainment, treats and the chance to meet local artists. Enjoy live performances at the downtown Strater Theatre and Community Concert Hall at Fort Lewis College, live music at restaurants and local theatre at the Durango Arts Center. In March, 2015, Durango Film celebrates a decade of the independent film festival. A hidden jewel in the arts and cultural world, Durango boasts over a dozen galleries carrying treasures from American Indians, Contemporary Western and Southwestern works of museum-quality art represented with sculptures, pottery, baskets, fine-art photography and home furnishings.
Durango is largely a place built around a train, and it’s the historic steam train that still runs today. Take a ride back through time behind a historic coal-fired, steam-powered locomotive. Revel in the breathtaking sights as the train winds from the Animas Valley through 46 miles of the San Juan National Forest to the old mining town of Silverton. Soak in the magic of Christmas aboard the Polar Express, check out local Blues Bands on the Blues Train, or hone your photography skills with professionals aboard the Photography Train. These and many more theme train rides offer a unique venue for exploration of Durango and Silverton, with a peek to “then” and an appreciation for now.
Durango Mountain Resort
With 88 trails across 1,360 skiable acres, Purgatory at Durango Mountain Resort (DMR) has mastered the art of snow fun with exceptional skiing and snowboarding opportunities and après ski activities. Renowned as a family-friendly resort and named “Best Ski Value” by TripAdvisor 2012-2014, there are many other ways to enjoy the incredible winter wonderland at Durango Mountain Resort. Try the snowshoe alpenglow evening tour with wine and cheese at the Powder House restaurant, bring kiddos and stop by the Hot Cocoa bar, or glide your way around the Steamworks Bar and hop to the assorted sounds of local musicians. New this year: The Burton Riglet Park, a terrain-based learning center in the base area, allows the youngest snowboarders, ages 3-6, to experience sliding on the snow. Lodging and lift value packages offer deep savings.
Vallecito Lake is a stunning mountain lake just 20 minutes from town. It’s a favorite destination for motorcycle riders, and new restaurants along the shores are the perfect stop for a family outing. Play all day on the lake, eat on the shores and camp in the beautiful forests that frame this exquisite lake.
San Juan Scenic Byway
If you’re a road-tripping wiz, or care to be, the San Juan Skyway Scenic and Historic Byway should be on the top of your list. A scenic byway designated by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation, the San Juan Skyway celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2014. Durango is just one stop on this truly spectacular journey through time and place.
About the Durango Area Tourism Office
The Durango Area Tourism Office is a not-for-profit organization operating with the mission to promote Durango and La Plata County’s multitude of tourism attractions, events and services.
For more information, visit www.durango.org or call (970) 247-3500.
Casual cyclists and active foodies will find a range of day rides and weekend packages on offer in Victoria’s High Country this cycling season, in destinations including Beechworth, Rutherglen, Bright, Myrtleford and Mansfield. From spring through autumn, North East Victoria’s ever-changing, panoramic landscapes offer an inspiring backdrop for recreational cycling, while the region’s culinary villages offer food and wine worth pedalling for.
Explore Rutherglen’s food-friendly wines and regional produce on the SEASONAL FOOD FORAY, a progressive lunch by bike. The Pickled Sisters Café will wave you off with a seasonal hamper of four dishes to be paired with a glass of wine at four iconic wineries, on a 20km cycling route via the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail and quiet country roads. Cost: $55pp for matched food and wine. Bookings:
www.pickledsisters.com.au (24hrs notice required). Bike hire available from Rutherglen Wine Experience.
Myrtleford’s Cycle Centre will host a series of COOK-CYCLE-FEAST day rides over summer, including 15 – 20km of cycling along the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail.
Choose from the Bread & Butter Bicycle Tour (featuring hands-on bread making and lunch at Delize Café Deli), Coffee Bean Roast ‘n’ Ride (featuring a roasting session at Coffee Chakra and lunch at Happy Valley Hotel) or Gnocchi on Wheels (featuring hands-on pasta making and lunch at Delize Café Deli). Cost: $95pp, includes local guide, food and wine tastings, morning tea and lunch. Bike hire available.
Various dates in November & January; Private tours bookable, min. 6 cyclists. Bookings: www.myrtlefordcycle.com
Gather your girlfriends for PEDALS, PILATES & LATTES, a boutique two-night getaway at Bright’s Leader Reef accommodation. Get invigorated with a pilates session by the pool or fire, before a gentle 20km bike ride along the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail to Feathertop Wines, then reflect on your active day over dinner prepared for you in-house by a local chef. Cost: Two-night package from $260pp weekdays/$285pp weekends. Min. 4 – 8 guests. Bookings: www.leaderreef.com.au
Base yourself in Beechworth to pedal the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail down to the Milawa Gourmet Region on Riding High’s signature GOLDEN GOURMET self-guided day tour.
This intermediate 45km ride includes a private lunch at the historic Ladson’s Store in Tarrawingee, now the home of the Correll family, before more food and wine stops finishing at Sam Miranda Winery. Cost: $150pp (includes lunch, coffee, tasting plate with glass of Prosecco and transfers). Bike hire $30pp. Bookings: www.ridinghigh.com.au
At All Terrain Cycles in Mansfield, book in a self-guided 22km BIKE TO BRIDGE ride along the Great Victorian Rail Trail to Bonnie Doon. Pedal alongside scenic farmland, through shady tree tunnels and finish your ride crossing the historic 385m Bonnie Doon bridge. Have one of Mansfield’s cafes/providores pack you a picnic to enjoy on the shores of Lake Eildon or lunch at family-friendly Bonnie Bar. Cost $55pp adults/$50 children for bike hire and return shuttle, Standard pick-up from Bonnie Doon 2.00pm. Bookings: www.allterraincycles.com.au
For more information on Victoria’s High Country, Australia’s premier cycling destination: www.victoriashighcountry.com.au
The veteran sea kayaking company is offering three 2015 departures for a truly authentic travel experience
SALEM, Ore. —Tofino Expeditions has paddled all over the world and doesn’t use the word “perfect” to describe destinations often; however, 150 miles west of Rio de Janeiro on Brazil’s southern coast, Costa Verde provides nearly perfect waters for fantastic sea kayaking adventures. Tofino’s Brazil Sea Kayaking: The Costa Verde earned its place as a National Geographic Traveler’s 2012 “50 Tours of a Lifetime” and now adventurers have the opportunity to take a 2015 Spring Break trip like no other and experience this amazing place for themselves.
Tofino Expeditions, a veteran adventure travel company offering worldwide kayaking tours, takes kayakers of all ability levels on a journey through Brazil that includes unparalleled kayaking, cultural discovery and exploring the natural world. Start this amazing journey by wandering through Rio de Janeiro – recently named UNESCO World Heritage Site – with a lifelong Caricoa (resident of Rio) discovering the city’s most iconic sites and hidden treasures. Guests will come to understand why Rio offered the perfect location for the 2014 FIFA World Cup as well as the upcoming 2016 Olympic Games. The New York Times named Rio the #1 destination on its “46 Places to Go in 2013”. Don’t forget to try a chilled Caipirinha (Brazil’s national drink) and a classic Churrascaria (Brazilian barbeque).
Head to the preserved Portuguese Colonial and Brazilian Imperial town of Paraty, a UNESCO World Heritage Site surrounded by tropical forests, stunning mountains and ethereal waterfalls. Check into a historic, boutique hotel at the end of the Gold Road in old town then take a walking tour around the restored 18th and19 th century architecture. This colorful town is the launch point for a paddling trip to Saco de Mamangua, Brazil’s tropical fjord. Paddle through warm, aquamarine water protected from the open Atlantic by Ilha Grande, a big island rich in wildlife and dotted with tiny fishing villages as well as beautiful beaches. Trip highlights include: swimming at a tropical pool under a waterfall, visiting a local canoe builder, eating fresh seafood prepared by locals and having dinner with Paraty’s celebrity Chef Yara Castro Roberts at her restored colonial home. Tofino will also provide stand up paddleboards so guests can checkout the fastest growing water sport in the world in ideal warm water conditions. After fun days of exploration, guests will relax in comfortable eco-lodges and guesthouses, including in the quaint fishing village of Pouso da Cajaiba, cited as a “favorite spot” by Outside Magazine.
Tofino blends comfort with a truly authentic sea kayak travel experience, making this a true “Trip of a Lifetime”. Price is $4,390 per person ($500 single supplement). The 2015 departure dates are March 12, May 7, and October 15. Minimum age 12 years. For more information about the Brazil Sea Kayaking: The Costa Verde tour, visit www.tofino.com .
About Tofino Expeditions:
Founded by veteran adventurer Grant Thompson, Tofino Expeditions has guided commercial sea kayaking tours since 1988, making them one of the most experienced companies in the business. The company was among the very first to provide guided paddling tours of Vancouver Island’s west coast, which is now a destination on the life list of paddlers around the world. The company guides trips along the world’s finest coasts in Baja, British Columbia, Croatia, Brazil, Vietnam, Italy, and the Galapagos Islands. Tofino Expeditions was named one of National Geographic Traveler’s 50 Tours of a Lifetime in 2014.
Veteran bicycle tour operator ExperiencePlus! is pleased to introduce five new tours for 2015. This award-winning outfitter is expanding their classic style tours to highlight Brittany and Normandy in France, and Portugal’s Alentejo region. The hardy cyclist will be challenged by the ExpeditonPlus! tour which spans the historic route from Venice, Italy to Kalamata, Greece. And for those not interested in continental style tours, there is the novice-friendly Sightseer Tour series which launches two itineraries geared towards travelers new to cycle touring, or simply those who are interested in traveling at a more leisurely pace.
France: Cycling Brittany and Normandy Plus! Bayeux and the D-Day Beaches is perfect for anyone who wants to:
· Touch history at Normandy’s beaches
· Imbibe local calvados, and other apple cider specialties
· Traverse a causeway to the world’s most famous tidal island fortress
Depart from the French walled-city of St. Malo for an in-depth exploration of the significance of Brittany and Normandy which share a prolific history, culture, and cuisine.
Pedal along Brittany’s rocky coastline and breathtaking sandy beaches before heading south through patchwork farms and forests on this 301- rated route. Follow the signature chalk-arrow navigation system to the charming medieval city of Dinan and the imposing island Abbey of Mont Saint Michel. D-Day landing sites and the compelling Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial mark the end of the journey in Bayeux, home to the famed medieval tapestry commemorating the Norman Conquest of England in 1066. June and August departures are available at $4750 per person.
Portugal: Bicycling the Alentejo Plus! Costa Vincentina tour explores Portugal’s south-central lands and west coast. As the western outpost of continental Europe, this region harmonizes centuries of ancient influences, delicately framed by stunning beaches and endless blue skies.
· The journey begins in the fortified town of Elvas, famed for its impressive Roman Aqueduct, and wends its way alongside the Alqueva reservoir, one of the world’s best star-gazing locations.
· Impromptu stops lead to São Pedro do Corval, a well-known pottery town, and Vila Vicosa, recognized for its stunning rose-colored marble
· Adventurous days of cycling culminate over festive gastronomic experiences with olive oil and wine tastings complimented by regional indulgences such as the hearty peasant dish, Alentejo acorda (bread, garlic and egg soup).
· After reaching Cabo San Vicente, Europe’s most southwestern point, celebrate the culmination of the journey with a lively group dinner and restful night at the luxurious Pousada de Sagres hotel strategically perched on a promontory with a stunning view of the fortress and beach below
April and October departures are available at $4650 per person.
The 2015 ExperiencePlus! Venice to Kalamata, Greece tour is the newest addition to the ever-popular ExpeditionPlus! series.
· Beginning in Venice, Italy’s beloved city of canals and bridges, this historically significant route traces the great arc of the Adriatic Sea to the Dalmatian Coast of Croatia, Bosnia and Montenegro
· Continuing into Albania, this epic ride traverses a corner of Macedonia and remote regions of Greece before ending in Kalamata, a former Byzantine outpost and modern-day port city on the Peloponnese peninsula
Unlike other tours, ExpeditionPlus! rides are all about covering expansive territory while pedaling far off the beaten track. Expeditions are for folks who want to be among the first, the few, and the special! Because of the popularity and challenging nature of ExpeditionPlus! adventures, it is necessary to submit a quick application for this expedition. Click here to fill out the ExpeditionPlus! application today. Tour dates are September 8 – October 6, 2015.
Introducing Sightseer Tours: Bike Paths of Italy’s Lake Garda, and France’s Châteaux of the Loire Valley. ExperiencePlus! believes that cyclists of all ages, abilities and experience levels should have the opportunity to explore the world by bike. In 2015 they are excited to roll out this new style of trip designed specifically for people who are curious about cycle touring, for families, or for those seeking a cycling adventure at a more leisurely pace.
In addition to all of the cornerstones of the beloved ExperiencePlus! classic tours, the Sightseer Tours also feature:
· Use of relaxing and mostly car-free routes along bike paths and country lanes
· Activities other than cycling (boat trips, city-walking tours, culinary adventures)
· Relaxing multi-night hotel stays
· Kid-friendly activities, lodging, meal options, and equipment (small bikes and trailers)
· E-bikes available for a modest fee
A choice of summer departures are available starting at $3650 per person.
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!
Bicycle tour specialist ExperiencePlus!, a leader in international tourism, has been family-owned since 1972. The first U.S. based tour operator to offer bicycle tours in Italy, ExperiencePlus! has expanded to include tours in 22 countries, blending true cycling expertise with innovative routes and off-the-beaten-path immersion. For more information, tour departures and itineraries please visit www.ExperiencePlus.com or www.BikeRentalsPlus.com.
Adult Space Academy, Huntsville, AL
Becoming a real astronaut is really, really difficult, but for two days, you can be a pretend-rocket scientist and spaceman at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Alabama. Simulate a space mission from either mission control, or a Space Shuttle simulator. Design, build, and launch a model rocket or go on a pretend moonwalk in a 1/6th gravity chair. The center also houses a museum of priceless NASA artifacts, including the Command Module for Apollo 16, an honest-to-god manned lunar mission.
Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy Camp
Gene Simmons of KISS, Joe Perry from Aerosmith, Sammy Hagar, and Cheap Trick. This isn’t the bill at a big-time rock festival, just some of the counselors at Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy Camp. There are all different types of experiences taking place across the continent at various durations and price points (the glitz of Las Vegas is an appropriate setting), but the crux is you get to jam and learn from a genuine rock star. Legendary producers are also open the doors to recording studios and revealing the secrets to crafting a classic track.
CIA Boot Camp
This isn’t secret agent school, it stands for Culinary Institute of America, and it is the fast-track to learning sophisticated cooking techniques from master chefs without going through the rigors of a working restaurant kitchen. There are dozens of classes taking place in CIA’s headquarters in the Hudson Valley, Napa Valley, CA, and San Antonio, TX. Novices can spend five days learning knife skills along with dry/moist heat cooking methods. Or specialize to gather knowledge about a specific country’s cuisine or region of the U.S., get to know the chemistry of baking, or the subtelties of wine.
Camp Grounded, Camp Mendocino, CA
Set amongst 2,000 acres of redwoods in Northern CA, Camp Grounded is the classic kid’s summer camp experience rebooted for an older crowd. Questionable vittles are replaced by gourmet, sustainable meals, though. The classics of crafts, music, archery, and nature hikes are complemented by more cerebral, profound classes like Physics 101, and Non-Violent Communication. Not all is serious though. “Color Wars” has groups of campers under the banner of a color (i.e. blue v. red) pitted against each other for such childhood icons as capture the flag, relay races, and scavenger hunts. Read more travel news at www.TravelPulse.com
By day, you’ll patrol the butter-smooth, sun-drenched roads of Mallorca, conquering its world-class climbs on an official team bike, alongside the real riders of Trek Factory Racing.
By night, you’ll live like a pro, with soigneurs, a team chef, mechanics and staff who will treat you like you’re on the payroll.
Trek Travel’s impeccable support crew will guide you at every turn, filling your bottles and keeping you fueled whether you pace Fabian Cancellara up the switchbacks of the Col de Soller, grab an espresso with Matthew Busche and Stijn Devolder in the middle of a hundred-mile day, or talk Tour de France with Frank Schleck over dinner.
The seven-day, six-night trip will be offered from January 16-22, 2015 and is priced at $9,999. Trip elements include:
* All the training rides, team meals, base line fitness testing, pro bike fitting, and daily massage that the pro team gets.
* An official team bike that will be provided for your use throughout the week (and will be available for purchase at the end of the trip).
* Your very own full compliment of team-issue riding and casual gear (normally only available to the pros).
* Autographs, photos and all around good times with the team riders and support staff.
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
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.
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