This is the most popular family trip in the Backroads global portfolio. After exploring these two great national parks for 37 years, we know a lot about how the mountains were created, where wildlife wanders and when the geysers will likely erupt. Regional Manager Linda Cassell, who’s spent nearly three decades designing trips here, uses her deep expertise and vast local network to create an ideal mix of activities – so you and your family enjoy the best possible experience.
This captivating region offers much more than canals and windmills… not that you won’t see plenty of both as you bike flat, quiet roads through landscapes straight out of masterpieces by Cuyp or van Ruisdael. After riding in Holland and Belgium for more than 20 years, we know both countries intimately and can share our insiders’ take on everything from the best places to try a great beer or a chunk of Gouda (or both) to contemporary cultural attractions that provide an interesting counterpoint to the classic must-see sights.
The routes and scenery on our Czech Republic and Austria bike tour are magnificent, but what truly sets this Backroads trip apart are our local connections. At the farm of Dagmar Havlova, enjoy a private farm-to-table dinner that’s more authentic than any on the tourist track. Dive into the country’s fascinating history with Helena, our local guide and longtime friend. In the fortress city of Český Krumlov (which our Trip Expert calls home), our friend Alois welcomes you to U Dobraka, a traditional restaurant that was a retreat for free-thinkers during the Communist era and remains a well-kept secret. Then top it off with a private wine estate tour and tasting of famous rieslings and grüner veltliners.
When everyone’s together, there’s lots going on! That’s why our Family Adventures in Bryce, Zion and Grand Canyon have three Trip Leaders–including a dedicated Kids Activity Expert who regularly takes younger travelers off to do their own thing. So, while kids are exploring the Grand Canyon’s rim by mule, adults descend into the canyon by foot. As adults hike through the red rocks of Zion, kids are off canyoneering. And then there’s plenty of biking, hiking, swimming and swapping stories as a family too!
After exploring the Canadian Rockies for more than three decades, many of us now live among them. Backroads Regional Manager Alison Iles, who raised her kids in Banff, not only designed many of our Rockies trips but has also served on park development committees and chaired both the Interpretive Guides Association and the Heritage Tourism Association. Having helped set the standards for all travel in the region, she knows how to ensure our trips exceed all expectations.
Backroads pioneered the active river trip, partnering with AmaWaterways, the leader in river cruising, to create a new kind of travel experience featuring biking and walking explorations from an elegant floating hotel. Our Danube River Cruise Bike Tour takes you through the heart of this culturally diverse region from Prague to Passau, Vienna to Bratislava and on to Budapest. Pedal through the Bavarian forest, stroll among baroque architecture, sample local beers and discover tucked-away hamlets. Then luxuriate on board the ship as it carries you to your next adventure.
On our Dalmatian Coast Family Multisport Tour, you’re are invited to walk the plank! After a day of biking by the sparkling waters of the Adriatic, at some point you and your family will likely want to plunge in. We recommend waiting until you’re back on board our private trabakul, the double-masted sailing coaster unique to this region, as the crew will drop anchor and suggest that you walk the plank – in a good way. And once you’ve enjoyed a refreshing swim in the sea, it’s time to relax on deck with a cold drink and watch the coastline slip by.
Drawing on more than 37 years of experience riding in our own backyard, we’ve created a range of Wine Country itineraries, all designed to ensure you fully enjoy your time here. This California Wine Country Bike Tour, created by an expert who’s lived in the area for years, avoids most of the traffic while weaving together the best scenery and a selection of acclaimed vineyards. Whether you opt to challenge yourself with an epic hill or simply cruise to the next winery, our routes are all about choice.
Among the Mayan gems hidden in the jungles of Central America, the crown jewel is Tikal, a must-see archaeological site that lives up to all those Hollywood stereotypes of the Lost City. (It actually had a cameo in the first Star Wars movie.) Many active travel itineraries in Belize opt for less dramatic sites or squeeze in a rushed one-day visit. We spend two nights at Francis Ford Coppola’s nearby rainforest retreat, giving you and your family plenty of time to explore Tikal properly.
Backroads offers the only multisport tour on the Kenai Peninsula that ties together all of the spots your family will want to see, including Homer and Kachemak Bay, as well as Seward and Kenai Fjord National Park. And we do it by deftly balancing the two best ways to explore: biking spectacular wilderness routes to the very end of the North American road system; and kayaking in the most biologically diverse waters in Alaska, with incredible wildlife spotting everywhere.
Designed by Piemonte native and veteran Trip Leader Federica Vergano, our route gives you the option to ride from hotel to hotel each day without ever getting a lift. But don’t worry – our trademark Backroads support, with two vans and three dedicated leaders, is always there if and when you want to take advantage of it.
Most companies’ trips in Galápagos and the Andes are run by local operators. At Backroads we manage our own trips; we would never subcontract your precious family vacation to a third party. So as you enjoy the support of your seasoned Trip Leaders and Kids Activity Expert, along with our expert local guides and drivers, you have the confidence of knowing we’re with you and your family every step of the way.
In Vietnam, our Trip Leaders combine deep local expertise with a firm grasp of North American expectations around quality of service. By the same token, we pair experienced Backroads leaders with local guides who know how to cater to your needs while cracking open the culture or natural history in ways that are meaningful, memorable and often magical. On this trip, enjoy exclusive access to an ancient Hanoi temple rarely visited by foreign travelers. And leave the tourists behind, pedaling past bucolic settlements and vibrant green rice paddies on wonderfully quiet roads.
Now this is camping! Imagine pedaling or hiking up to a campsite to find your family’s roomy dome tents set up, your luggage stowed inside and your plush sleeping bag unrolled on a raised cot–with a comfortable Therm-a-Rest mattress for extra padding. This is life on a Backroads Deluxe Camping Trip: experiencing the great outdoors in style while your multitalented Trip Leaders, Camp Chef and Camp Assistant look after all the details–like making sure there’s always a crackling fire to enjoy as the sun sinks below the treetops.