Merry Christmas 2015
Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
So here we are, Christmas is nearly upon us and the New Year is just around the corner, it is hard to believe that 2014 went so quickly.
Not that it is one we will forget easily, as a health scare in July meant I had to take time off for tests and was unable to lead the Austria & Irish Tours, thankfully I am blessed with some really good friends who took over and ran everything on my behalf. It is also a measure of the great customers we have, that they were so understanding of my absence.
Hopefully that is all now behind us, and we look forward to 2015 and our 19th year of operation.
As usual we will be running a mixture of tours, some new and others that are firm favourites. The season starts with our annual tour in the USA; I am pleased to say this is well supported, with some people returning for a second time. This year we are moving northwards to visit not only the iconic Monument Valley and Grand Canyon, but the Canyon lands of Southern Utah. Here are some really great roads, as well as the superb scenery of Bryce, Zion and Escalante National Parks.
Alison & Roy will be taking the first UK tour of the year, in the form of our regular visit to the NW200 road races in Northern Ireland, however this year we have extended things a little and included a few days touring the Northwest coast of Southern Ireland. Alison and Roy will be returning to Ireland in August to tour the beautiful County Kerry as well as their regular tour to Scotland, this time in June and with the opportunity to tour the Isle of Arran.
On my return from the USA late May I will be taking a weekend tour to Hadrian’s Wall Country – this is an area we have toured for many years and along with the Northern Pennines, find really enjoyable. If you have never toured with a group before, this is an ideal opportunity to meet us and see how we do things.
The first European tour is at the request of quite a few customers, and involves a return to the Spanish side of the Pyrenees and a lovely little resort on the Costa Brava – the tour as proved very popular, but there are a couple of places left.
At the end of June we head for the Italian Lakes, we have visited Lake Garda many times, but this time we visit not one but three lakes in the form of Lake Maggiore, Lake Lugano and Lake Como. Gilli - who finds us our hotels in Italy - has pulled out all the stops with a fantastic 4 star hotel right on the shores of Lake Maggorie, ideal for touring or just chilling out and enjoying the view from the roof top bar.
Leaving the lakes, we ‘head for the hills’, to spend two nights at one of our favourite hotels in the Italian Alps. Located in the Stelvio NP, it is purpose made for riding the famous ‘Stelvio’ pass and a few more you may not even know about! Once again the tour is filling, but we still have places available.
Austria is becoming an annual event, but to be honest what is there not to like about it? For 2015, instead of moving into Switzerland (we’ll be back) – we ride along the Alsace wine route and into the lovely Mosel Valley – this might not have demanding mountain passes, but it does have great roads, fairy-tale castles, and scenic river valleys. For me, this is my favourite part of Germany.
No doubt you will notice our new Norwegian Tour. To be honest I have been considering this tour for many years and so decided to take the plunge. Things were complicated by the stopping of the Harwich to Esberg ferry last September, meaning that you now have to ride across Germany and either Sweden or Demark to get there. However, every cloud has a silver lining and I thought it an ideal opportunity to ride across the Oresund Bridge and through the underwater tunnel to Malmo. Anyone who saw the recent Scandinavian TV thriller called ‘The Bridge’ could not fail to be impressed with the structure, and riding across it, is one to tick off the bucket list.
As is the way when we introduce new tours, the tour has filled quickly and unfortunately there are no vacancies at the present time. I am afraid the same applies to our Croatia, Slovenia and Italy tour which again has proved popular.
Following an article in ‘Bike’ magazine, we have had quite a lot of interest in our N. Spain and Portugal tour. This is the 5th or 6th time we have done this, and so have decided to tweak the route to include some new areas, more twisties and less dual carriageways. Although we always had great hotels we are also trying out some new ones, mainly in the form of Paradors and Posada’s, which are well known for their quality.
We return to Wales for our final weekend tour of this year, this is always very much a social event as well as a really nice tour. We have a really good hotel base and of course the Welsh roads never fail to provide some great riding.
You will find the availability levels of each tour on the website ‘Tours’ page. As is the norm, the amount of single rooms the hotels will give us are limited, and many of our places have already been filled, however, if you are willing to share we can save you money and generally get you on the tour of your choice. You will find requests from people happy to share (male and female ) on our Tour News page.
Once again a big thank you to all those that helped us so much this year, also to all those customers - many now friends - who continue to support us year after year, it is you that make our tours so special.
Have yourself a great Christmas and we look forward to seeing you in the New Year.