New Winter Retreats: Canary Islands & Ecuador/Galapagos

Berkeley, CA (June 12, 2013) Summer may be in full swing, but come December, those warm weather temps will be long gone. Two new trips from Backroads, a company that offers more than 1400 biking, hiking and multisport departures each year to 33 countries on five continents, let travelers soak up the sun during the dreary winter months of December, January and February, while immersing themselves in the local culture.

Spain's Canary Island Biking Tour invites guests to visit two islands with year-round spring-like weather on a 6-day, 5-night holiday seaside retreat. The trip includes biking Gran Canaria for three days through quaint villages, past forests, ravines and volcanic formations and along the coast of the Atlantic with views of sand dunes. For the second half of the trip, travelers fly to Tenerife where they visit Teide volcano, a World Heritage Site, tackling part of the climb by bike if they'd like. The ride also takes bikers along lush banana plantations and quaint fishing villages.

Accommodations include the modern Hotel Viverde Las Tirajanas on Gran Canaria, the Spanish-colonial style Seaside Grand Hotel Residencia and Hotel Buenavista set near the Los Gigantes cliffs. All offer a pool and a spa for relaxation after a day on the bike. The Canary Island Bike Tour is offered in December 2013, as well as January and December 2014. Pricing starts at $4198 per person double occupancy with a $145 internal flight.

On the new 8-day, 7-night Galapagos & Andes Walking & Hiking Tour, travelers experience the beauty of the Andes and the wide variety of wildlife on the famous Galapagos Islands. As part of the tour, hikers visit children at a local school, see the award-winning Condor Huasi, which rehabilitates and then releases condors back into the wild, horseback ride around a volcano, and get up close with iguanas, sea lions, lava lizards, the rare vermilion flycatcher and other magnificent animals.

Accommodations for the hike include La Mirage Garden Hotel & Spa, a Relais & Chateaux member; Hacienda Zuleta, a 4000-acre working farm open to only a select group of travelers; Iguana Crossing Boutique Hotel on a beach near a habitat for iguanas; and Galapagos Safari Camp with luxury safari tents offering immersion into the natural environment. Pricing starts at $5398 per person double occupancy with a $790 internal flight.

"We've added these trips to our 2013-2014 line-up to give our guests more choice for winter escapes," says Tom Hale, Founder & President of Backroads. "We chose these specific tours because they offer both unique experiences and warm weather—a winning combination in winter!"


More Information
Backroads, founded in 1979 by Tom Hale, offers the most destinations, itineraries and annual departures in the active travel industry. Each year, the company hosts thousands of guests in hundreds of locations across the globe, 80% of whom are repeat guests or referrals. Backroads has been in business for more than 35 years, is a founding member of the Adventure Collection and, in 2013, was named one of the top 100 places to work by Outside magazine. For more information, please visit www.backroads.com or call 800-462-2848 daily, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., Pacific Time.

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