2012 Preview: Far-flung, Close-to-Home, Déjà Vu

Berkeley, CA (September 2011) Why do travelers choose Backroads? Because after more than 30 years in the business, Backroads sets the standard for vacations that are culturally stimulating, active and FUN! Every trip is an unparalleled adventure, where serendipity is supported by a bevy of behind-the-scenes experts, as well as a topflight team of trip leaders.

Carefree and flexible, Backroads vacations are designed with each guest's inclinations in mind. One traveler might dream of bicycling leisurely with no other goal than the next boutique winery or spa treatment. Another might look forward to a vigorous workout highlighted by heart-stopping views and cold beer at the local rifugio. And while the journey may be the destination, each trip is also about indulgence at the end of the road—be it a Michelin-starred dinner at a splendid chateau or an informal feast at a stunningly situated national park lodge. The possibilities are endless!

Backroads' 2012 trip lineup—showcasing a collection of all-time favorite itineraries, plus new trips in France, Spain, Iceland, Canada, the U.S. and more—promises to be better than ever. Here's a sneak peek at what's on tap for next year...


New Classic Biking Trips

Dolomites: Epic Alpine Passes in Northern Italy
For avid bicyclists thrilled by the possibility of conquering 14 alpine passes in six days, this may be the perfect trip. Highlights include unforgettable rides on some of Italy's most epic routes, an evening of Michelin-starred cuisine, and a close-up look at a captivating mix of cultures.

Mallorca: Spain's Idyllic Mediterranean Island
Bicycling bliss can be found on the idyllic Mediterranean isle of Mallorca. Breathtaking climbs and sinuous descents will thrill cyclists who are up for a challenge. Timeless villages, medieval monasteries and hidden beaches provide intriguing diversions off the bike.

Spain: From Barcelona to the Pyrénées & Costa Brava
Spain's Catalonia region awaits discovery on this new trip with Casual inns. With Barcelona as their gateway city, guests pedal from the rugged Pyrénées to the spectacular Mediterranean waters and romantic coves of the Costa Brava.

Ireland: Counties Cork & Kerry in the Southwest
With a misty beauty that's charmed travelers for centuries, Ireland is pure magic to explore on two wheels. There are country lanes and glacier-carved valleys for biking. Quaint villages to visit. Whiskey and Guinness to taste. There's just something about Ireland!

Holland & Belgium: From the Dutch Countryside to Beautiful Bruges
Two countries. Two wheels. Endless appeal. While pedaling easygoing routes amid storybook villages, flower fields and dreamy canals, Backroads guests will discover the charm of the Dutch countryside and the romantic beauty of Bruges.

California's Big Sur Coast: From Monterey to Santa Barbara
Backroads is excited to introduce bicyclists to the “dream road.” It's a stunning route that hugs California's coast, with rugged cliffs, crashing waves and iconic redwoods. And it leads past classic lighthouses and historic missions, from charming Carmel to sun-kissed Santa Barbara.

Colorado: Silver Mining Towns of the San Juan Mountains
Heart-pounding climbs and exhilarating descents. Big elevation. Big mileage. Million-dollar scenery that's epic in its diversity. Colorado's got it all! Backroads guests can test their legs (and lungs) while biking to such classic Rockies towns as Silverton, Ouray and Telluride.

Costa Rica: Through the Cloud Forest to Arenal Volcano
Bicyclists will pedal through a landscape so rich with natural treasures, it'll take their breath away. They'll soak in hot springs, explore a cloud forest, gape at waterfalls, marvel at an active volcano and spot wondrous wildlife. It's easy to extend this vacation and head to the coast nearby.

Vermont to Québec: From the Northeast Kingdom to the Eastern Townships & Québec City
The quiet back roads of northern Vermont and Québec's Eastern Townships offer an insder's look at classic New England countryside and idyllic villages brimming with Gallic charm. Life in the slow lane doesn't get any sweeter. (Unless, of course, you add maple syrup!)

New Classic Multisport Trips

Canadian Rockies: Biking, Hiking & Rafting in Banff & Yoho National Parks
This new addition to Backroads' Canadian Rockies lineup features some all-time favorite spots in Banff and Yoho National Parks. And it offers an unbeatable blend of activities—biking, hiking and river rafting—that let travelers experience the region's splendor from all perspectives.

Galápagos & Andes: Hiking, Biking, Snorkeling & Kayaking in Ecuador's Islands & Highlands
Travelers will hike and bike amid volcano-studded highlands, where traditional villages, local crafts, folkloric music and ancient ruins are theirs to discover. Then there's sailing, snorkeling and beaches to explore in the incredible Galápagos marine sanctuary.

New Classic Walking Trips

Provence & Costa Brava: From Sunny Southern France to Spain's Heavenly Catalan Coast
Is it possible to improve on perfection? Backroads thinks so! As if a blissful escape to sunny southern France weren't enough, this unforgettable new trip also introduces guests to the Mediterranean seascapes of Spain's sensational Costa Brava.

Iceland: Natural Wonders of the Southern Coast
Glaciers, waterfalls, volcanoes, fjords, geysers... Backroads guests can experience Earth's most stunning natural wonders in a single trip! From awe-inspiring ice walks to thrilling lava field treks, adventures abound in this wild and remote Nordic wonderland.

New Family Trips

Holland & Belgium: Family Biking From the Dutch Countryside to Beautiful Bruges
Families will enjoy exploring the quiet back roads like the locals do—by bike! The whole gang can spin leisurely through landscapes immortalized by the Old Masters, with languid canals, cobblestone streets and windmills. And enjoy fabulous dining and hotels reminiscent of the Golden Age.

Canadian Rockies: Hiking, Biking & Rafting in Banff & Yoho National Parks
Kids will be exposed to all the fun that Mother Nature has to offer while pedaling and hiking family-friendly routes amid mighty peaks and turquoise-colored lakes. They'll make a splash on a rafting trip, and look for marmots, deer and other wildlife with Trip Leaders, who are certified Mountain Parks Heritage Interpreters.

Galápagos & Andes: Hiking, Biking, Snorkeling & Kayaking in Ecuador's Islands & Highlands
Ecuador is the place for non-stop thrills and wildlife watching at its finest! Backroads guests will bike and hike in the Andes, discovering ancient ruins, traditional villages, crafts and folkloric music. The fun continues while island-hopping in the Galápagos, where marine iguanas, frigate birds and sea lions strut their stuff.

Iceland: Hiking, Biking & Rafting the Southern Coast
Glaciers atop volcanoes. Black-sand beaches strewn with icebergs the size of trucks. Plunging waterfalls and gushing geysers. This land of extremes makes for an extremely awesome family adventure, with hiking, biking, rafting, horseback riding and more!


More Information
Backroads was founded in 1979 by Tom Hale and has grown to be the world's #1 active travel company, with the most destinations, itineraries and annual departures in the active vacation industry. There are nearly 1200 scheduled departures in 2011. Backroads is regularly included in the prestigious Travel+Leisure World's Best Awards as voted on by travelers worldwide. Backroads is also a founding member of the Adventure Collection. Open daily, 6 am to 6 pm, Pacific time. Call 800-462-2848 or visit the Web site at www.backroads.com/media. To request a catalog, please visit www.backroads.com/catalog.

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