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Top 10 bike and boat tours for 2018

Imagine a hotel that traveled with you. Following you wherever you go, it gives you the luxury of unpacking and settling in, all while touring beyond the typical radius of an overnight stay.

With bike and boat tours, you can have just that. You’ll take in beautiful landscapes and explore European must-sees during the day, then head back to your “floating hotel” at night.

Check out our top picks for bike and boat tours for 2018, perfect for families, groups, and those who want the option to take a break from cycling during the trip.

1. Bordeaux by Bike and Boat: Castets-en-Dorthe to Fronsac (and reverse)  –France (Boat Bike Tours)

Bordeaux, soaked in sun in the southwest of France, is the perfect spot for a bike/boat combo tour. You’ll tour through the region’s lush countryside, riding by rows of walnut trees, kiwi orchards, and vegetable fields. By night, you’ll enjoy the stunning views of Bordeaux by boat, rolling along the Dordogne, Garonne, and Gironde Rivers. This trip is full of medieval villages, historical sites, and, for those who partake, delicious wine. Price starts at €999 per person, and trips run April through October.

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2. Mosel and Lorraine by Bike and Boat –France, Luxembourg (Active Boating)

This trip has a little bit of everything: cycling through the Mosel valley’s vineyards; riding along the Mosel River aboard the La Belle Fleur; and, as an added bonus, strolling (by foot!) through charming villages, complete with old streets that are heavy on hidden gems and character. Explore the Centre Pompidou in Metz and the relaxing village of Frouard. Tours run from August to October, starting at €849 per person.

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3. Mosel and Saar-Bike and Barge (and reverse) –Germany (Cycletours Holidays)

Take on Mosel and Saar bike and barge to visit ancient Roman baths and villas, hike the Marienburg, and stroll along with the Eifel Volcano range at your side. The area is rich with wine, and you’ll have plenty of opportunities to partake, including a taste of the white grape variety, or the Riesling, dubbed the “Queen of Grapes.” Tours start at €1085 per person, and are available from August to October.

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4. The Ionian Islands and the Gulf of Corinth (Bike and Boat) –Greece (Islandhopping)

The word is out about this top tour– so much so that it’s already sold out for 2018! But we’re keeping it on the list because we want it on your radar for next year! It’s no wonder it’s so popular: the beauty of the Ionian Islands is not to be missed. The tour puts you up close and personal with the Greek mainland, and then shows you the spectacular smaller islands of Lefkas, Paxos, and Corfu. You’ll spend your days in the midst of clear waters, marvelous mountain ranges, and historical treasures. Annual tours run from May through September, and start at €1290. Start planning now!

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5. Amsterdam – Bruges by Bike and Boat – Magnifique I, II, and III (and reverse) –Holland, Belgium (Boat Bike Tours)

You’d be hard-pressed to find a more fitting name for this tour. Aboard the Magnificent Magnifique, you’ll experience some of the must-see cities of Holland and Flanders: Amsterdam, Utrecht, Antwerp, Ghent, and Bruges. This tour is complete with authentic Dutch cheese farms, quintessential Dutch windmills, and medieval castles. €999 per person, running from May through October.

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6. Danube Waltz Bike and Boat Passau – Budapest – Passau –Austria, Germany, Hungary, Slovakia (Eurocycle)

Vienna, Bratislava, and Budapest. Oh my! No need to pick just one favorite European capital on this trip– you’ll get the chance to visit all three! Treasure the Esztergom Basilica in Budapest, the Carpathian Mountains in Bratislava, and Hofburg Palace in Vienna. And in between? Plenty of stops to take in the rest of the region’s culture and history. Tours run from April through October, and start at €929 a person.

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7. National Parks of Dalmatia by Bike/E-bike and Boat –Croatia (Islandhopping)

The lush green national parks of Dalmatia: Krka, Kornati, and the Telašćica nature preserve all provide the perfect backdrop for this bike and boat tour. Couple them with village viewing in Šibenik, Zadar and Trogir, and you’ve got yourself a trip full of the best of Croatia. And don’t forget about the Dugi Otok Island. You’ll have a hard time deciding which part of the trip was your favorite. The tour starts at €1590 per person, and runs from April through October.

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8. Northern Ireland’s Coastline by Tall Ship and Bike –Ireland/Northern Ireland (Islandhopping)

Every mile of the Northern Ireland coastline seems to tell its own story, and this tour is the perfect way for them to be told. The experience includes a stop at the Kebble Cliffs National Nature Reserve of Rathlin Island and Giant’s Causeway, a UNESCO World Heritage site. For a little extra spirit, a trip to the Bushmills Distillery, the oldest licensed distillery in Ireland. €1390 per person with dates throughout July.

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9. Amalfi Coast by Bike and Boat: Naples/Capri/Ischia –Italy (Verde Natura)

Explore Italy’s gems by bike and boat, strolling the city streets of Capri, Pompeii, Procida, Ischia Islands, and Sorrento. Experience the beauty of the region’s blue waters aboard the boat, and get a closer look on land of hotspots like Villa dei Misteri, the world’s largest open-air archaeological site. And the piazzetta in Capri. This trip is not to be missed. €1285 per person, running April through October.

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10. Venice to Mantua by Bike and Boat (and reverse) –Italy (Girolibero)

It’s likely you’ll consider Italian citizenship after this tour of Northern Italy. The tour offers a grand welcome in Venice, before heading to the picturesque Pellestrina, and beautiful Bergantino. Add in the area’s historical sites, natural wonders, and fabulous food (oh, the food!),  and you’ll have a hard time saying goodbye. €990 per person, running from late March through October.

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Trailsnet said:

You have some great bike touring lists. I’ve noticed that one group of bicyclists that most bike touring companies forget about is the ever-growing group of people who, for various reasons, enjoy touring mostly on bike trails (paths, greenways, etc.) We’d love to see some bike tour lists that include rides that are mostly on bike paths. For example, any bike & boat tour on the Moselle or Danube would have an option for bicycling mostly on bike paths since those two rivers have great bike paths along a majority of their route.
Keep up the great work!!

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