For the first time in two years, Explore has released a brochure dedicated to its cycling portfolio. The collection features trips for all experience and activity levels, but contains an increased focus on challenging tours for keen cyclists. As well as a number of new tours in Europe, Explore has responded to customer demand for more cycling trips further afield, with new trips in Burma, India, Cuba, Sri Lanka, as well as a trip that journeys through Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama. What’s more, Explore is offering 5% off any of the 19 new cycling tours, when booked by 31st January, 2012.*
For those inspired by Mark Cavendish’s recent award as the BBC Sport’s Personality of the Year, the challenging new Provence and the Ventoux eight-day tour journeys through the heart of the Provencal plains, incorporating the classic Tour de France hill climbs of Mont Ventoux and Col du Murs. Graded tough, this tour covers 430km with several steep sections. Departing in September 2012, the cost, from £955 per person, includes flights; seven nights’ hotel accommodation (mostly b&b); hire of a 21-gear Trek T10 Navigator bike; back-up vehicle and tour leader.
For something less physically challenging, but more off-the-beaten-track, Explore’s new nine-day Cycle Iceland tour explores some of Iceland’s most remote mountain tracks. From the wild centre to the South Coast, the route takes customers across black deserts, contrasted by towering, green volcanoes and white glaciers. This ‘rough and ready’ trip incorporates camping by remote mountain lakes and bathing in natural hot springs. Graded as moderate, 155km is covered on off-road and varied terrain. The price, from £1,689 per person, includes flights; b&b camping and guesthouse accommodation; 11 other meals; mountain bike hire; tour leader and support vehicle.
New tours in Eastern Europe offer exceptional value for money. As well as the new Cycle Ukraine and Cycle Serbia trips (detailed in the notes to editors), the unique Cycle Albania tour allows customers to get to the heart and soul of this fascinating and picturesque country, over eight days. Graded moderate to strenuous, 365km is covered on quiet, undulating roads, with some steeper sections. Costing from £997 per person, this includes flights; accommodation, mostly on a b&b basis; three dinners; hybrid bike hire; tour leader and support vehicle.
Further afield, the first Explore customers started returning to Burma last month, after a 16-year absence. The country is proving exceptionally popular and Explore now offers four different tours there, including the new and unique 16-day Cycle Burma trip. Cycling between the major highlights of Bagan, Inle Lake, Mandalay and Rangoon, this tour provides the opportunity to truly immerse in the local culture, passing from village to village. Graded moderate, 510km is covered on generally flat and quiet roads. With departures from January to March and October to December, the price, from £2,397 per person, includes flights; b&b accommodation; mountain bike hire; tour leader and support vehicle.
The Cycle Nicaragua to the Panama Canal tour takes a fascinating journey across three countries over 15 days. The tour passes through some of the most beautiful scenery in Central America – past smoking volcanoes and lakes and through national parks. A particular highlight is cycling along the Panama Canal. Chill-out time is included in the tropical islands of Bocas del Toro. Graded moderate to strenuous, 650km is covered on undulating and sometimes mountainous roads. The price, from £2,570 per person, includes flights; b&b accommodation; hybrid bike hire; tour leader and support vehicle.
Ashley Toft, Managing Director of Explore, commented, “This new brochure contains our biggest and most innovative collection of cycling holidays yet. In addition to the 5% saving for new trips booked by 31st January, it should also be noted that our cycling trips offer exceptional value for money, due to the fact that the hire of high-quality bikes is included in the cost of all of our trips.”
For more information about Explore, or to book, visit www.explore.co.uk or call 0844 499 0901.