Whether it’s swapping stories with a friend or traveling with a group of Backroads guests on our Douro Valley River Cruise, I can’t help but share all the fascination and stories about port wine production and the country of Portugal. It’s all just so darn good.
If I could describe India in one word, it would be just that… Incredible. I was recently gifted the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience our India Multisport Tour. Journeying through the northern state of Rajasthan in Backroads fashion is more than just an active vacation–it’s an experience. India truly is a place to live and to learn.
What if you could increase your chances of living a long and healthy life just by changing the way you get to work? A new study has now revealed that if you trade in your car or bus commute for your bicycle, you could add years to your life! And unlike squeezing in a visit to the gym, commuting is something you have to do so why not make the most of it?
For the last seven years, I have been an outdoor guide: three years of working on guest ranches in Wyoming and Colorado, and four as a Trip Leader for Backroads. For me, working with my hands, outdoors and with people is what truly brings me to life. And you can throw travel in there as well. Finding a connection with someone from a completely different culture, who perhaps speaks a different language, is an experience so gratifying that I have forever pledged my allegiance to the strong and ever-growing global community of wanderlust junkies. This is why it pleases me deeply that the United Nations has declared this year–2017–as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.
With National Bike to Work Day on May 19th, it’s not really about the route, it’s about the notion: Who needs a car anyway? Whether you do it every day or once a year, pedaling to work is worth celebrating. If your commute isn’t scenic, then allow your mind to drift to one of our Top 10 friendliest bike regions in the world.
It’s pretty wild that last year, between the end of April and the first week of December, I didn’t sleep in the same bed for more than three consecutive nights. Somehow seven months flew by since that spring day when I packed up my temporary home in Marin County, California, as did my time in about ten states, four countries and who knows how many cities. And at the end of it, I was just weeks away from going to South Africa— my first time in any African country! This year is already just as action-packed.
Backroads has been in New Zealand for nearly three decades, crafting innovative routes, forging local connections and setting new standards for exceptional service – all with the goal of creating an active travel experience that lives up to the amazing diversity of this beautiful country. Thanks to a resident Trip Expert who’s been discovering hidden roads and trails for more than 25 years, our unique biking itinerary explores far beyond the usual tourist haunts.
Lasagna, pizza, bolognese, tortellini, Chianti… the list goes on. It’s safe to say the Italians have cracked some kind of food and wine code. With dining traditions nearly as rich as their Parmigiano-Reggiano, there’s more to learn than the old “spaghetti fork spin” we all know and love. This post will talk about the lesser-known culinary traditions in this beautiful country and the golden rules you must know before your next Italian adventure. Let’s dig in (pun intended).
One of the reasons that Europe is so special is that, within a relatively small geographic area, you can visit incredibly diverse landscapes with their own histories, cultures and scenic wonders. While Backroads provides everything you’ll need to enjoy any of our trips, these 10 destinations are especially great for first time travelers to Europe. With accessible airports and hotels, friendly locals who often speak English and dependable public transportation, among other welcoming attributes, they offer a perfect introduction to European beauty, food and charm.
As a Trip Leader, a phrase I find myself coming back to often when speaking to guests or potential guests about traveling with Backroads is some version of, “We take care of all of the annoying aspects of travel to let you enjoy the good stuff.” This philosophy applies to every trip Backroads offers, but after leading trips for two years, I can see no time that it’s more valuable than when my guests are traveling with kids.
The vastness and beauty of Norway’s fjords and lands are beyond description and must be experienced to be appreciated. Backroads took our group to areas of Norway most tours and visitors will never see. Every detail was planned and balanced with enough free time and choice of daily hikes depending on how one felt that day. This trip was perfect for our group of seven women, giving us the freedom to simply enjoy Norway, have fun and create memories together.
Ask somebody if they know of the Gulf Islands, and chances are they don’t. Nestled in Canada’s southwest corner, below the 49th parallel, this exquisite archipelago is the unsung vacation hero of Canada (and maybe even North America!). It is, hands down, my favorite place to spend a summer. And I don’t say that lightly: having lived, worked and traveled in 15 countries on 4 continents, this place still takes the cake. Perhaps it’s because I came here as a child, spending endless hours building sand castles to the sound of eagle calls and running with wild deer through the islands’ untouched coastal forests. You never forget things like that.
Island-hoppers on North America’s West Coast frequent Hawaii’s tropical beaches, while East Coasters look to the Caribbean or Bermuda for their sun-and-sand fix. For Europeans, Spain’s Islas Baleares–and Mallorca in particular–are the perfect island escape. Though this is no secret (the island is one of Europe’s top holiday destinations), Mallorca’s wild topography, remote hill towns and hidden coves invite you to step off the beaten path to discover countless hidden gems. Though I love leading Backroads trips all over the world, as well as in different regions of my home country of Spain, Mallorca always calls me back.
When I first started working for Backroads, I remember flipping through catalogs, stunned by the photographs of the places we visit. And I remember my eyes lingering a little longer on the page for the Santa Fe & Taos Biking Tour, drawn in by the warm colors of the adobe. So when a friend encouraged me to visit her in New Mexico, I jumped at the chance to explore the Southwest.