Depart from the U.S.
The particulars of your arrival overseas are detailed with your flight
itinerary and airline tickets.
Day 2 - Arrive in Salzburg
Upon arrival at the Salzburg Airport,
claim your luggage and clear customs. VBT's local representative will meet you
outside the customs area in your arrival terminal and will be holding a VBT
sign. Your representative will help you transfer (approximately 25 minutes) to
your hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to settle in and explore the
city. Tonight, choose a restaurant for dinner on your own. VBT provides you with City Information in
your Final Travel Booklet that includes information and recommendations on what
to see and do in Salzburg
during your stay.
Please note: If you arrive early, your hotel room may not be
available until 1 p.m. You may store your luggage with the Reception Desk. If you are traveling from the West
Coast, your arrival in Salzburg
may not be until late in the evening.
Stroll the quiet pedestrian streets of this romantic city
and explore on your own.
Day 3 - Trip Leaders / Warm-up ride / Welcome reception
VBT No-Air Package guests: Meet your local VBT
representative and the rest of the group at our Salzburg hotel – Hotel Goldener
Hirsch (address: Imperial Hotels Austria AG Getreidegasse 37, 5020 Salzburg,
Austria. t +43 662 8084-884 f +43 662 8084-845) at 9:00 a.m. Please meet your
VBT representative dressed in cycling clothes and ready for biking. Make sure
your luggage is tagged with VBT yellow tags. If you have brought your own
pedals, please have them ready to give to your Trip Leaders.
If you are so delayed that you will miss the morning
transfer to Tarvisio, then we suggest you take a train to Villach Hauptbahnhof
in Villach, Austria. Trains from
Salzburg to Villach operate every couple of hours and cost approximately 30
euros/$45 USD. From Villach, you will
need to take a train to Tarvisio Boscoverde in Tarvisio, Italy. There is limited service with only a morning
and evening train. Cost of the train
ticket is approximately 6 euros / $8 USD.
From here a taxi to the Hotel Edelhof is approximately 10 euros / $13.
If you are delayed for any reason, please contact Hotel
Goldener Hirsch in Salzburg to advise of any travel delays or changes, and the
staff will pass your message on to your VBT Trip Leaders.
VBT Air Package guests & Pre-trip Extension guests: Meet
your local VBT representative at the Salzburg hotel at 9:00 a.m. Please come
dressed in cycling clothes and ready for biking. Make sure your luggage is
ready in the lobby and tagged with VBT yellow tags. If you have brought your
own pedals, please have them ready to give to your Trip Leaders.
From Salzburg, transfer by private motorcoach (approx. 2
hours, 45 minutes) to alpine Italy where we'll be treated to staggering vistas
of the snow-capped Julian Alps to the south and the rugged peaks of the Carnic
Alps to the north. We will meet our Trip Leaders in a countryside setting
outside of the charming hamlet of Valbruno, Italy. After our included lunch they will hold a
safety and bike-fitting session followed by a warm-up ride. The area is particularly charming and ideal
for easy bike rides through the scenic Canal Valley (Val Canale).
This afternoon explore the main street of Tarvisio and maybe
indulge in an Italian gelato or visit the town's quaint shops. Later we gather for a welcome reception and a
delectable dinner prepared by our hotel owner.
The Hotel Edelhof is a charming family-run inn set between
the surrounding forests and the center of Tarvisio making it easily accessible
to everything this small alpine town has to offer.
Day 4 - Cycle the Alpe Adria
Bike Path / Venzone
Today we have the opportunity to experience the renowned
“Alpe Adria” Bike Path which enables cycle enthusiasts to ride from Salzburg
through the Alps to the Adriatic Sea.
Our journey will follow the recently paved train path downhill from
Tarvisio to Venzone, sometimes travelling through old mountain tunnels opening
upon wonderful views of the "Val Canale".
At times we will catch glimpses of the river Fella and visit
the small town of Pontebba located at the confluence of the Pontebbana creek
and the Fella River, a tributary of the Tagliamento. The rail road line in
Pontebba was the target of heavy aerial bombing during World War II as this was
Germany's main resource for transporting supplies to Italy. During our scenic
ride we'll pause for a picnic lunch prepared by our tour leaders.
Later we shuttle to the old town of Venzone which has been
restored as it was in its splendor of the Middle Ages. This excellent example of reconstruction has
been declared an Italian National monument. The reconstruction includes the
Cathedral of St. Andrea where there is the mysterious Chapel of St. Michele
with its famous mummies dating back to 1647. Instead of decomposing, bodies
buried in the tombs were perfectly preserved and recognizable decades later
which led some people to periodically retrieve the bodies and commune with
their dead ancestors. Later this afternoon we will shuttle back to our inn.
Back in Tarvisio, enjoy time to relax, shop or join your
leaders for an optional Italian wine tasting before picking a restaurant for
dinner on your own.
Day 5 - Laghi di Fusine, Cycle
to Kranjska Gora and Podkoren, Slovenia / Cooking demonstration
After breakfast this morning, we have the option to shuttle
or ride to Lahgi di Fusine (Fusine Lakes).
Enjoy an inspiring walk around the lake while enjoying the view of Mt.
Mangart. Today’s ride along an easy path
in a pristine alpine landscape will take us beyond the Italian border. Riding
to Slovenia, we visit the charming village of Kranjska Gora, famous for its
World Cup ski area and a peaceful retreat for nature lovers. Explore the
village at your leisure and find a quaint restaurant to have your lunch on your
own. We cycle through pine forests, passing picturesque wooden houses along the
After our stop, we'll cycle to our inn, the Hotel Vitranc in
the quiet hamlet of Podkoren. The Hotel Vitranc has a long tradition of
hospitality. Vitranc was the name of the beloved stallion of the first owners.
The house maintains the simplicity and charm of a family-run mountain
guesthouse, where guests immediately feel at home. The Pajzl area, or pub, has
a separate entrance and is still the preferred place for the locals to stop for
a chat and beer after dinner.
Upon arrival, take some time to settle in and relax, or
enjoy a stroll before we gather and learn how to prepare struklji, a Slovenian
sweet, with our smiling Chef Darinka and some local friends. The class is an
opportunity for a cultural exchange with people still tightly linked to old
Dinner is at a traditional Slovenian restaurant in the
nearby ski resort town of Kranjska Gora.
Day 6 - Cycle the Radovna Valley / Lake Bled
Our alpine adventure continues today with a ride through the
Radovna Valley. Passing pristine
pasturelands we will stop and visit one of the farms to sample some of the
wonderful alpine cuisine that is produced in this region of Slovenia. From here we will continue to the storybook
setting of Lake Bled. Circumnavigate the
lake by bike or if time allows you may also opt to take a boat to Bled Island –
the only natural island in Slovenia and home to the beautiful Pilgrimage Church
of the Assumption of Mary – or walk up the hill to Bled Castle, the oldest
castle in Slovenia, offering amazing views over the lake.
After our exploration of Lake Bled we will shuttle back to
Podkoren and relax or enjoy a sauna before sitting down to a hearty dinner in
Day 7 - Bike to Austria
/ Ride on easy bike paths along the Gail and Drava Rivers in Carinthia /
This morning, a scenic ride through the century-old forest
takes us cycling on an easy bike path into Austria. Beyond the pass – and
through the immense limestone wall formed by the Carnic Alps and the Karavanken
– we continue cycling along the banks of the Gail River in Carinthia. This
region is a scenic paradise due to the abundance of rivers and small emerald
lakes set against the backdrop of the Noric and Carnic Alps. En route we’ll
enjoy a traditional Austrian alpine lunch at the Almwirschaft Hut.
In the afternoon, we continue biking toward Wörthersee Lake
for our long option. Our path follows the valley through deep wooded slopes and
sunny cornfields. At times we'll catch a glimpse of the high roof of a church
bell tower or of a small village laid out like a blanket against the flanks of
the mountain. For a shorter option we
stop and explore the town of Villach and wonder the pedestrian streets for
shopping or sampling a local brew. From
Villach take a short train journey to Velden and enjoy a leisurely walk from
the train station to our hotel for the next two nights.
Later in the afternoon discover Velden - the little “Monte
Carlo” of Carinthia. Home to many wealthy, ancient families, Velden is a town
of elegant mansions, colorful gardens and refined lakeside restaurants. Our
hotel is the magnificent Schloss Velden, an ancient castle on the lake banks,
reopened in 2007 after a long and detailed restoration. Condé Nast Traveler has
featured Schloss Velden as a “Hot Hotel” and its spa center as the “Hot Spa” of
Austria – making it one of the 139 most luxurious and innovative hotels and
resorts in the world.
Day 8 - Cycle around Wörthersee
Our bike ride today takes us around the Wörthersee Lake. On
the northern side, Pörtschach is an exclusive tourist resort, beautifully
located on a little bay. Continuing to
the Southern bank we arrive to the picturesque village of Maria Wörth, which
features two little medieval churches and a small peninsula that juts
dramatically into the lake. A more challenging option for avid bikers follows
the hills south of the lake, with scenic rides in the forest. Other options
include a shuttle to our hotel or a boat ride across the lake.
Spend the rest of the afternoon swimming, relaxing or
enjoying water sports on our hotel's private beach. Thanks to the natural hot
springs, the waters are sure to be warm and pleasant. Alternately, you might
choose to pamper yourself at the hotel's luxurious spa center.
In the evening, we gather for a festive farewell dinner.
Day 9 - Transfer to Ljubljana
/ Free time / VBT No-Air Package ends
VBT No-Air Package guests: Your trip ends at the Hotel Lesar
Angel in Ljubljana. After breakfast, our
private motor coach will take you to Ljubljana, Slovenia (approx. 1 hour, 45
minutes). You will be arriving at about 11 a.m.
Upon arrival to Ljubljana you will have an included walking tour of Slovenia’s
capital city. The 2 hour walking tour
will end at Hotel Lesar Angel where your luggage will be waiting for you. We recommend booking flights no earlier than 3
p.m. from Ljubljana.
VBT Air Package guests: After breakfast, our private motor
coach will take you to Ljubljana, Slovenia (approx. 1 hour, 45 minutes) for our
final overnight stay. Our hotel is well
located in the Old Town of Ljubljana, easily within walking distance of all the
major sites. Upon arrival to Ljubljana
you will have an included walking tour of Slovenia’s capital city.
VBT provides you with City Information in your Final Travel
Booklet that includes information and recommendations on what to see and do in
Ljubljana during your stay.
Day 10 - Depart for U.S.
After breakfast* this morning, transfer to the Ljubljana
airport (approximately 30 mins) for your departing flight**. Please ensure that
you are ready in the hotel reception area at the designated time.
*Please note: For guests with early-morning departures,
breakfast at the hotel may not be available. Please check with the Front Desk
to verify the times that breakfast is served.
**Please note: VBT recommends that you check your transfer
time in your “Transfer Reminder.” VBT transfer times and departure points are
finalized in advance and cannot be modified for individual guests. If you
extend your stay beyond the scheduled program dates, return transportation to
the airport will be at your own expense.