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California Coast Bike Tour

Big Sur Coast—Carmel to Santa Barbara

From $3,498 pp dbl. occ. | 6 days / 5 nights

(+$1,130 for sgl. occ.)

It's the dream road. Hugging California's coast at the very edge of the continent. Winding past redwoods, rugged cliffs and crashing Pacific waves. Sea lions, lighthouses, Spanish missions and Carmel-by-the-Sea. Luxury hotels and sun-kissed Santa Ynez Valley vineyards. Coastal scenery that takes your breath away.

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California

San Francisco, California/Santa Barbara, California

Central Coast California

Highlights

  • Bike along iconic Highway 1 on California's central coast, surrounded by crashing surf, quiet vineyards and rolling hills
  • Behold legendary 17-Mile Drive, dotted with cypress trees and iconic Pebble Beach Golf Course
  • Marvel at the beauty of McWay Falls, cascading 80 feet into turquoise ocean waters below
  • Taste some of the numerous award-winning wines of the picturesque, vineyard-filled Santa Ynez Valley
California

San Francisco, California/Santa Barbara, California

Central Coast California

Itinerary

Day 1 Bike world-famous 17-Mile Drive, rolling through dramatic coastline and catching a view of Pebble Beach | Arrive in the storybook town of Carmel-by-the-Sea, where you can browse art galleries, boutiques and cafés | Visit an 18th-century Spanish colonial mission in this seaside haven.

Day 2 Ride in the shadow of towering coastal redwoods in Big Sur State Park | Pedal the cliff-hugging Cabrillo Highway past wind-torn cypresses | Soak up the bohemian vibe of Big Sur Village | Watch waves crash through a rocky arch as you walk along sandy Pfeiffer Beach.

Day 3 Miles of staggering views greet you on the Big Sur coast | Behold McWay Falls, tumbling down granite cliffs into the sea | Head south through rugged coastline and cattle country, passing Piedras Blancas Lighthouse, whose cove is a hangout for elephant seals | Visit Hearst Castle, where optional tours reveal an astounding 58 bedrooms, 18 sitting rooms and sublime grounds | The call of sea lions invites you to explore the bluffs—you might spot a migrating whale!

Days 4-6 Discover the vineyard-laden Santa Ynez Valley | A pastoral inland route leads to Los Olivos, with Victorian buildings, eclectic artwork and alluring tasting rooms | Get to know the town of Solvang, a dash of Denmark in California | Taste wines and olive oils or visit a lavender farm.

The earlier you book, the more choice you'll have and the lower your price. And you can always change your mind — you won't be charged to transfer to a different trip before your final payment is due. View cancellation policy.

Please click on a date below for specific pricing and possible itinerary variations.

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C Classic Dates

2018 May

View Private Dates

Gather your favorite people to share a Backroads adventure on a ready-to-book Private Trip - featuring all the legendary Backroads hallmarks from expert leaders to unforgettable activities. You can pick from the selection of dates below for your group; some dates are only available for 16 or more guests while other dates are available for 8 or more guests. If your party has fewer than 8 guests, or your preferred date is not available, we'll create a departure just for you. Call or email us to reserve your date.

2018 Private Trip Pricing
  • 10 or more guests: from $3,498 pp dbl occ
  • 8 - 9 guests: from $3,998 pp dbl occ
  • 6 - 7 guests: from $5,198 pp dbl occ
  • 4 - 5 guests: from $5,598 pp dbl occ
  • 2 - 3 guests: from $6,498 pp dbl occ

Please click on a date below for specific pricing and possible itinerary variations.

Don't see your ideal travel date? Make a Date

  • 8 AVAILABLE TO BOOK
    for 8 or more guests
  • 16 AVAILABLE TO BOOK
    for 16 or more guests
  • Reserved

C Classic Tours

2018 July
2018 September

View Scheduled Dates

Prices

From $3,498 pp dbl. occ.
6 days / 5 nights

(+$1,130 for sgl. occ.)

Reviews

Premiere Hotels*

Tradewinds Inn Carmel
Tradewinds Inn Carmel 

Carmel-by-the-Sea (1 night)

Ventana Inn & Spa
Ventana Big Sur

Big Sur (1 night)

Blue Dolphin Inn
Blue Dolphin Inn

Cambria (1 night)

Fess Parker Wine Country Inn & Spa
Fess Parker Wine Country Inn 

Los Olivos (2 nights)

Activity Level

This trip is rated Levels 2-4

What's Included

Services and equipment are included.

Why Backroads

Why Travel with Backroads in California Coast

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
California Coast Bike Tour
 
4.8

(based on 5 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Reviewed by 5 customers

Displaying reviews 1-5

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5.0

Picture Perfect Adventure

By 

from Oklahoma City

Comments about California Coast Bike Tour:

We have enjoyed previous Backroads trips and this one did NOT disappoints. Our leaders were personable and knowledgeable. Our lodging was top notch as were our meals. Definitely put this trip on your "must do" list!!

 
5.0

Big Sur plus wine country - Tuscany in the US!

By 

from Pittsburgh, Pa

Comments about California Coast Bike Tour:

Great cycling, wonderful meals and wine plus outstanding Backroads' leaders; a terrific week that I highly recommend.

 
5.0

Breathtaking beautiful biking!

By 

from Pittsburgh

Comments about California Coast Bike Tour:

Wonderful trip along the rugged California coast. Biking this area gives a unique perspective you can't experience by car. Challenging enough but the ride will leave you wanting more!

 
5.0

Spectacular

By 

from Greenville, SC

Comments about California Coast Bike Tour:

My family enjoyed each bike route - both along breezy Highway 1 and within the arid San Ynez valley. Routes varied between rolling hills and challenging climbs, with fun stops at local wineries. We appreciated how well the Backroads leaders researched alternative rides and lodging after several road closures changed the original trip logistics.

After several other BR trips, I would say the main difference in the biking on this trip is that it tended to be along busier routes of higher traffic instead of within national parks. The ebikes and new Garmind GPS attachments made for a more enjoyable and safe vacation.

Our leaders, Joey and David, and support staff, Paige, were all personable and accommodating, as all our BR leaders have been :) The snacks and picnic lunches they provided were healthy and delicious. Thanks for making so many wonderful memories for our family! We love Backroads!

(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Once in a lifetime trip.

By 

from Edmonton

Verified Buyer

Comments about California Coast Bike Tour:

The only bad thing I can say about his trip is that we had 26 people and only two guides plus a driver. That is really not enough support when you have riders spread over 20 miles or so.
The Big Sur portion is a challenging ride and with some huge climbs. As it is a narrow winding road, it is moderately dangerous as there is a lot of car traffic. I would still recommend it as the scenery is spectacular.
The wine country portion is easier riding on quieter roads.
Accommodations and food were superb.

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Premiere Hotels*

Accommodations may vary based on departure date. Any difference from what is listed below can be found by clicking on your desired date on the View Scheduled Dates or Private Dates tabs.

Tradewinds Inn Carmel

Tradewinds Inn Carmel 

Carmel-by-the-Sea (1 night)

Enjoy the serenity and ocean views offered by this Asian-inspired inn centrally located in charming Carmel-by-the-Sea.

Ventana Inn & Spa

Ventana Big Sur

Big Sur (1 night)

This luxurious getaway tucked in wooded hills overlooking the Pacific earns rave reviews from Condé Nast Traveler and the Hideaway Report. (pool, spa)

Blue Dolphin Inn

Blue Dolphin Inn

Cambria (1 night)
* Casual Hotel

Ocean views abound at this cozy inn nestled in a grove of mature cypress trees on Moonstone Beach.

Fess Parker Wine Country Inn & Spa

Fess Parker Wine Country Inn 

Los Olivos (2 nights)

Each room at this elegant boutique hotel, which dates back to 1888, features a private fireplace. (pool, spa)

This Trip Is Rated Levels 2-4

Every Backroads trip is designed to appeal to a wide variety of interests and fitness levels. We know your pace may vary from one day to the next—and your traveling companion's may differ somewhat from yours. So we present a range of mileage options, and each day you decide exactly what and how much you want to do.

Daily Route Options (drag to see full )

Daily Route Options
Day EASYGOING ACTIVE AVID
Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4 Level 5
miles feet gain miles feet gain miles feet gain miles feet gain miles feet gain
1 23 1800
2 28* 2000 33* 2500 37 3500
3 22* 1800 31* 2500 52* 3300
4 21* 1400 35 2200 48 2700
5 24 1300 36 1700 47 2300
6 16 800
 

Note:

* Includes shuttle.

Learn more about how we determine our activity level and fully support a range of abilities and interests.

Please note that our distance and elevation figures come from Ride with GPS. Other sources (such as Map My Ride and Garmin devices) may give differing elevation figures due to different GPS and mapping technologies. Readings from a Garmin or a smart phone are influenced by other factors such as air pressure.

Meals

All breakfasts, 5 lunches, 4 dinners

Available Bike Options

The key to a stellar day’s ride is a bike that’s perfectly in tune with your cycling style… Backroads has you covered with the best bike fleet in the world! Read on for your available bike options for this trip or view our full bike fleet in further detail.

Backroads Titanium Bikes (Included in your trip price)

Our custom-built titanium bikes are specially designed for you—and we offer different models for varied terrain so your bike is ideally suited to the region. Our custom-made bikes are included in your trip price.

Touring Bike (Included)

Road Bike (Included)

For trips departing before 4/15/18, please see available bike options here.

Backroads Custom Electric-Assist Bike (Included in your trip price)

Wishing for a little extra assistance up those hills? Our custom Backroads Electric-Assist Bike lets you experience the thrill of exploring on two wheels while providing a boost when you want it. We've modified a selection of our great Titanium Bikes with the intuitive BionX "pedal-assist" system.

Backroads Custom Electric-Assist Bike (Included)

Specialized S-Works Roubaix & Ruby ($400 rental fee)

Ride like a pro with the new top-of-the-line S-Works bike featuring ultrasmooth Shimano Di2 electronic shifting. Faster and smoother than any other bike out there, this race-ready carbon machine delivers phenomenal acceleration and handling in an ultralight, ultrapowerful package—perfect for experienced riders. The Specialized S-Works Ruby is a light, agile speed machine precisely designed for women. You can upgrade to a Specialized S-Works Roubaix or Ruby on your trip.

Specialized S-Works Roubaix (Upgrade)

Specialized S-Works Ruby (Upgrade)

Co-Motion Torpedo Tandem ($400 rental fee)

Do you prefer to spin in tandem with your partner? You'll love the Co-Motion Periscope Torpedo tandem on your Backroads trip. You can upgrade to a Co-Motion Torpedo Tandem on your trip.

Co-Motion Torpedo Tandem (Upgrade)

Also Included

  • Expertise and services of our experienced Trip Leaders
  • Snacks and beverages between meals
  • Additional guides and experts from the region on many trips
  • Van shuttles to support a variety of route options
  • Comprehensive Travel Planner with detailed pre-trip information
  • Private guided tours at museums, historic sites, wineries and other select attractions as noted in the Travel Planner
  • All gratuities at hotels and restaurants
  • Special events, including wine tastings and other select attractions as mentioned in the Travel Planner
  • On biking and multi-adventure trips, use of fully equipped Backroads titanium bike plus helmet and accessories
  • Trailercycles, carriers, and kid-sized helmets for Family Trips
  • Equipment and experienced guides for kayaking, rafting, snorkeling, sailing and canoeing as described
  • Park and other entry fees
  • Fares for trains, ferries and other modes of travel as listed in the Travel Planner
  • Select coach transfers
  • Baggage transfers and porterage

Get the Straight Talk about This Trip

We want to make sure you're on the right trip and that you have the best experience possible. Every Backroads trip is unique and this one is no exception.

Traffic, Terrain & Shuttles

While Backroads strives to find routes that are quiet and off the beaten track, we bike 17-Mile Drive and Highway 1 through Big Sur, which are both popular with cyclists and drivers alike, especially during holidays and the busy summer season. The majestic Highway 1 along the California coast includes long climbs and steep downhill stretches, exposed overlooks, and at times little or no shoulder. Just remember to keep to the right, ride single file, and go at your own pace. Of course, if you decide to skip some of the hills, you can hop in a support van and enjoy the view.

Why Travel with Backroads in California Coast

Turning from Water to Wine

This unique biking trip bridges two essential California experiences: taking in the epic vistas along the Pacific Coast at Big Sur, and exploring the oak-lined hillsides of Santa Barbara wine country. And after days of great rides and private tastings, look forward to relaxing each night at comfortable luxury hotels like the Carmel Valley Ranch – voted Best Resort in Northern California by Condé Nast Traveler readers.  

Great Bikes Included (or Upgrade)

Choose a Backroads Custom Titanium or Custom Electric Assist bike—both are included in your trip price. Maybe a Specialized carbon-fiber pro model is more your speed or go for double fun on a tandem. Our fleet is the best in active travel, so you don't have to roll the dice on this vital trip component. Learn why our titanium bikes are ideal for most riders. See the bike options for this trip.

A Second Van When You Need It

Backroads is the only active travel company providing two support vans in California Coast—because we know it's essential to ensure a truly great travel experience. It doubles our ability to be there when you need us to offer hydration, lighten your load or give you a lift if it's time to take a break. Read more on why two vans make all the difference.

Navigate Your Way in California Coast

Your ride comes equipped with a Garmin Edge Explore 1000, the best bike-touring GPS device on the market. This is a Backroads exclusive, and it's included with your bike in California Coast. If you prefer to bring your own device, we also have downloadable GPS files and of course, our good old paper directions are always available. Read more on why our navigation options are the best.

Everyone at Their Own Pace

We design and support our California Coast trips to suit mixed abilities and varied interests—so you can set your own pace, then change things up as the day unfolds. And all guests are free to do the same, traveling together or apart, with no one cramping anyone else's style. Which sounds easy in theory, but it's hard to pull off. Here's more on how we do it.

Your Trip Will Run. Period.

Under our Book with Confidence policy, your Backroads trip will run even for one or two people (or a family of three or four), subject to a nominal extra fee. Or transfer to another trip, and we'll give you a credit. It's all part of our trademark commitment to treating guests with integrity, transparency and total accountability. Read all the details.

More Leaders to Support You

On our California Coast trips we have an extra leader supporting you along the road—for a total of three, compared to the industry standard two. So we can be in more places at once, giving personal attention to guests traveling at their own pace. Here's more on our Trip Leaders.

Signature Backroads Picnics

Guests rave about our picnic spreads. Enjoy a welcome break in a scenic spot, or a quick refuel stop if you don't want to lose momentum. And because we have two vans, one can host lunch while the other is out providing support along the route.

Photo Gallery

Cycling-  Backroads California Coast Bike Tour
Sea lions - California Coast Bike Tours
Backroads California Coast Bike Tours
Backroads California Coast Bike Tour
Bird -  Backroads California Coast Bike Tour
Mission -  Backroads California Coast Bike Tour
Backroads California Coast Bike Tour
Vineyards -  Backroads California Coast Bike Tour
Windmill -  Backroads California Coast Bike Tour
Biking on  Backroads California Coast Bike Tour
Bakery -  Backroads California Coast Bike Tour
California Poppies
Backroads California Coast Bike Tour

Videos

Straight Talk

We want to make sure you're on the right trip and that you have the best experience possible. Every Backroads trip is unique and this one is no exception.

Traffic, Terrain & Shuttles

While Backroads strives to find routes that are quiet and off the beaten track, we bike 17-Mile Drive and Highway 1 through Big Sur, which are both popular with cyclists and drivers alike, especially during holidays and the busy summer season. The majestic Highway 1 along the California coast includes long climbs and steep downhill stretches, exposed overlooks, and at times little or no shoulder. Just remember to keep to the right, ride single file, and go at your own pace. Of course, if you decide to skip some of the hills, you can hop in a support van and enjoy the view.

Other Trips along California's Coast

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