Top Winter Bicycle Tour Destinations Feature Southern Europe, South Africa and New Zealand

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Cycle tourists interested in escaping the winter chill can find a variety of overseas bicycle tour options during the winter months. BikeToursDirect offers 25 tours with December-February departures in southern Europe, South Africa, New Zealand, Egypt, Vietnam, Thailand and the Islands of Seychelles.

Cape Town and Winelands Tour in South Africa

Cyclists rest along the route of the Cape Town and Winelands Tour in South Africa.

With winter bicycle tour destinations available on four continents, travelers can escape the winter chill and explore some of the most exotic and breathtaking locations in the world.

Although a winter chill will cover much of Europe by December, there are still several options for travelers interested in overseas bicycle touring during the winter months. BikeToursDirect offers 25 tours with December-February departures in southern Europe, South Africa, New Zealand, Egypt, Vietnam, Thailand and the Islands of Seychelles.

“In southern Europe, many bicycle tours operate year-round, with Spain being one of the most popular winter destinations,” says BikeToursDirect president Jim Johnson. “As we have expanded our tour offerings to four continents, we’ve added many new tours with year-round departures and some that are primarily available during the winter months.”

Offering fourteen bicycle tours in southern Europe with winter departures, BikeToursDirect provides cycle tourists with a variety of destinations to choose from in France, Italy and Spain. Eleven tours are available in Spain, which spotlight the pristine Andalusia mountains, the medieval villages and Mediterranean coast of Catalonia, the dramatic volcanic landscape of the Canary Islands, the castles and vineyards of Catalan and the island of Majorca.

“Catalonia has a cool but mostly dry winter that is perfect for cycling,” says Daniel Herzberg, Director of Cycling and Walking Holidays, Creative Catalonia, a BikeToursDirect tour partner. “The days are often sunny with daytime temperatures in the 60s that are ideal for cycling. Our Medieval Villages cycling tour is very popular as it encompasses such a fantastic variety of sights along the route that range from exploring the beautiful medieval city of Girona, the stunning coastal bays of the Costa Brava, as well as cycling through the timeless medieval villages of the region.”

For advanced cyclists, Hertzberg adds that Girona's Best Road Riding Tours (both point to point as well as based in one hotel with daily loop tours) are popular for cyclists who don't want to lose form on the bike over the cold winter back home.

While North Americans and many Europeans are enduring the winter, south-of-the-equator destinations are in full-blown summer. BikeToursDirect offers several bicycle tours in South Africa with year-round departures, including the “South African Cycle Safari” and “Cape Town and Winelands” tours, which are operated by locally-based Bike & Saddle, one of BikeToursDirect’s new tour partners.

“South Africa offers amazing opportunities for cycling year-round,” says Ben Sanders, Director of Business Development for Bike & Saddle. “We offer exclusive Cycle Safaris on private game reserves with a ranger guide showcasing the sights and sounds of the bush. We run authentic township tours through South Africa’s informal settlements and tailor-made wine tours through the various Cape Winelands. We run a Culinary Cycle Tour, themed on gourmet food and wine, and we are involved in various conservation initiatives, including a cheetah rehabilitation program.”

Heading a little deeper into the Southern Hemisphere, BikeToursDirect offers four bicycle tours in New Zealand, which feature rainforests, glaciers, mountains, national parks, geothermal spas, islands, caves and volcanoes.

“New Zealand is the perfect winter vacation location because November through March is our summer and the scenery is outstanding, ranging from superb beaches to permanently snow capped mountains, forests to open sheep country—all in an area the same size as Colorado,” says Richard Oddy, Chief Spoke of Pedaltours, a BikeToursDirect tour partner that has operated tours in New Zealand since 1985. “Our most popular tour is our Southern Alps 10-day tour from Christchurch, New Zealand’s second largest city, with a population of 360,000, to Queenstown, the adventure capital of the world.”

Other winter tour options include the Islands of Seychelles in the Indian Ocean; the Nile River Valley in Egypt; the ancient Chiang Mai region of Thailand; and the bustling cities and rural districts of Vietnam. BikeToursDirect will unveil additional winter destination tours for 2012 when it launches a new website this fall.

About BikeToursDirect
BikeToursDirect, now in its eighth season, serves as a central resource for bicycle tours in Europe, representing more than 50 tour companies that offer more than 200 tours in 35 European countries and is currently expanding to Asia, Africa and Australia. BikeToursDirect offers a variety of resources to help travelers choose tours and handles the entire booking and payment process. Learn more at http://www.biketoursdirect.com. Telephone: 1-877-462-2423 or 1-423-756-8907. Email: info(at)biketoursdirect(dot)com.

*High resolution photos available on request.

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