• 4.4 (15)

VBT Bicycling Vacations

Vermont Bike Tours has been offering touring services to expert and novice bicyclists since 1971, and is highly praised by consumers and critics alike. Positioning themselves as a leader in international bicycle vacations, Vermont Bicycle Tours provide traveling services at reasonable prices, and tours that have gained highly positive reviews from their clients.  VBT tends to run tours mid-range price points and slightly larger groups. Many of their tours bundle in airfare.   VBT is a Bike Tour Buzz Editor's Pick. 
Company rating: 4 out of 5 with 15 reviews
VBT Bicycling Vacations

International Bike Tour Operators

Website: http://www.vbt.com

COMPANY DETAILS

Phone: 800-245-3868

Location: THAILAND VIETNAM NEW ZEALAND ARGENTINA PERU ITALY FRANCE CROATIA HOLLAND BELGIUM LUXEMBOURG GERMANY HUNGARY SLOVAKIA IRELAND POLAND SLOVENIA AUSTRIA SPAIN CZECH REPUBLIC COSTA RICA USA

Price: Value

Vermont Bike Tours has been offering touring services to expert and novice bicyclists since 1971, and is highly praised by consumers and critics alike. Positioning themselves as a leader in international bicycle vacations, Vermont Bicycle Tours provide traveling services at reasonable prices, and tours that have gained highly positive reviews from their clients.  VBT tends to run tours mid-range price points and slightly larger groups. Many of their tours bundle in airfare.  

VBT is a Bike Tour Buzz Editor's Pick


USER REVIEWS

Average user rating from: 15 users

Overall rating
4.4 (15)
Guide Quality
4.5 (15)
Hotel / Accommodations
4.3 (14)
Food
4.3 (14)
Bike Quality
4.5 (13)
Value
4.4 (15)
Customer Service
4.5 (14)
Guide Quality
Hotel / Accommodation
Food
Bike Quality
Value
Customer Service

REVIEWED BY ML

Never again

Pros: Great hotels, good mix of biking, sightseeing and culture, varied and fun bike routes. Cons: I had a number of issues with this trip and company. I submitted the evaluation after the trip. It took three weeks for a response. But the issues were significant enough that I did get a call from the President of the company which I do appreciate. The President of VBT told me he will look into the issues which again I appreciate and believe that he will. But I wanted to post to give future travelers a heads up. Issue #1: The Bikes. They were crap. I am being polite. The guides warned us on the first day that chains were falling off the bikes. On the trip, my chain fell off two different days. One required a call to the guide to fix the bike. I also had issues with the gears and pedals on the other days. I told the President guests must have an international calling plan in case of an emergency, bike breakdown issues or if you get lost. (He agreed) Two of three happened to me. I didn't have an international plan and I gasped when I got the bill. Issue #2: Safety. One day, after lunch, the guide/sweeper didn't leave with the group. He did not ride with the group and was MIA. I was the last rider and didn't see the guide for at least 90 minutes. At that point I got lost. (Getting lost isn't the issue, it happens all the time.) The guide/sweeper eventually caught up with what he thought was the last group. No one in that group informed the guide/sweeper they weren't last. A guide that is MIA is a safety issue. There was no concern for the wellness of others or awareness missing or lost people from the sweeper guide or the group as a whole.If you are a solo/single traveler, that's a big problem. Cell service where we were was spotty. When I got lost I initially called the guide in the van. He said he missed the call because of poor reception which is okay. But if that's the case, that's even more reason for the guide riding to be with the group which as I stated he wasn't. Again, the President told me he will discuss this with the Leader Manager. But this is unacceptable. As a note, I did have this happen with another company on another trip. The lead guide made sure it didn't happen again. When I voiced my concern at the time to the sweeper guide there wasn't a concern or understanding of this issue. Issue #3: Lack of awareness of group needs. If you don't keep up with the group, you will miss out on things like lunch. For example, when I arrived a 5-10 minutes after everyone one day, most of the group already eat the picnic lunch. There was very little food left. For me, it was a problem because I have dietary restrictions. The same thing happened the day before there was more variety. Again, the guide must be aware of dietary needs of guests. I paid for lunch. I should have had lunch. The President did offer a $200 credit for a future trip. (My phone bill was more than that. A returning traveler gets more than that. It's barely a drop in the bucket.). But I won't be traveling with VBT again. I spent a lot of money on the trip and the issues are too significant. I was told what happened in an anomaly. If it was one issue, okay. It's not an anomaly when it's several major issues. As a note, this isn't my first trip with this company. I have taken about 10 active vacations hiking, biking, rafting, skiing trips total with this company and others.

REVIEW

Location of Tour

Czech Republic, Germany, Austria

Your Location

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Overall rating
2.8
Guide Quality
1.0
Hotel / Accommodations
5.0
Food
4.0
Bike Quality
1.0
Value
3.0
Customer Service
3.0

REVIEWED BY Jane Phelan

A Forever Fan of VBT

We took a 8-9 night (I cannot remember the exact number of days) tour with VBT that started in Paris, traveled through the countryside in Bordeaux, and ended up in Bordeaux City for one night. Everywhere along the way, I continued to be impressed by VBT! I have worked in international travel logistics before, and therefore I know how difficult it is to make certain things happen--I was amazed with how well the entire trip was organized. Booking the trip was so easy...I might even say it was enjoyable to talk to a human who could work out all of the little details with me (including making sure I had vegetarian food on the plane!). Once we landed in Paris, EVERYTHING, and I mean EVERYTHING, was taken care of. It was truly relaxing to not worry about one single logistical thing--VBT's Paris guide took care of us in Paris, and our trip leaders took care of us for the entire week we were with them. We were aware of "the plan" everyday, but didn't feel like we had to stay with the group if we did not wish to. The biking was amazing--and again, I appreciated that we got the information and were free to bike at our own pace...this is different from what I expected. The guides themselves were interesting people, and were incredibly attentive to us without overwhelming us. The food was wonderful, and the hotels we stayed in (except the one in Bordeaux) were pretty incredible. One hotel in particular, Chateau des Vigiers, was absolutely incredible--and our rooms were "eco-friendly"--very appropriate for VBT. The group meals were wonderful--a lot of fun to eat with our group members (who were all very interesting people). My favorite meal was the picnic lunch the trip leaders set up with local French food at the top of a small mountain which we hiked to! (Apparently, the picnic is a VBT staple). Overall, I thought the trip was an incredible value for money, which you wouldn't think when you look at the prices for these bike trips. Our cost charged by VBT included our flights, all of the hotels, our main activity for the whole week (BIKING!), the large majority of our meals, guides---our primary out-of-pocket expenses included wine and souvenirs to bring home. I'd go on another VBT in a heartbeat! Please excuse any rambling!

REVIEW

Location of Tour

Bordeaux, France

Your Location

Cambridge, MA

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Overall rating
4.8
Guide Quality
5.0
Hotel / Accommodations
4.0
Food
5.0
Bike Quality
5.0
Value
5.0
Customer Service
5.0

REVIEWED BY Rider

Well-run but lacking spontaneity

I went with VBT to Spain. They were almost perfect, which makes my negative feedback strange. The lodgings were unique and more than comfortable. Destinations were perfect - some obvious places, others off the beaten track. But it all felt so plastic, inauthentic. It was too perfect with no room for spontaneity. A plus were many optional activities. One night involved local music at a neighborhood bar. I think I met everyone there, danced until the last call and then stumbled back to the hotel (a former convent- whoops). One day the bike route was closed due to heavy rains. We were told to hang out (3 hrs) until lunch and resume riding after lunch! The leader also told us that they ran into this same problem last week. They didn't check?? We asked where we could find alternate routes. They didn't know. What's more, they said that they were NOT ALLOWED to vary from VBT's route. That kind of did it for me. My other gripe is more subjective. I was the only single on the tour. Many dinners were on your own, which put me in an awkward situation. Folks were friendly, but I was always the fifth wheel. I felt that the people attracted to VBT were just like that- insular, not spontaneous. I guess I prefer something between DuVine - too loose and full of itself and VBT- not loose enough.

REVIEW

Location of Tour

Spain

Your Location

New England

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Overall rating
4.4
Guide Quality
4.0
Hotel / Accommodations
5.0
Food
4.0
Bike Quality
5.0
Value
4.0
Customer Service
4.0

REVIEWED BY CSA

Amazing VBT Slovenia, Austria, and Italy Tour

We went to Slovenia, Austria, and Italy with VBT. Magnificent. 5-stars. Perfect in every way. (Verbal review given to Bike Tour Buzz for manual entry)

REVIEW

Location of Tour

Slovenia, Austria, Italy

Your Location

Lincoln, MA

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Overall rating
5.0
Guide Quality
5.0
Hotel / Accommodations
5.0
Food
5.0
Bike Quality
5.0
Value
5.0
Customer Service
5.0

REVIEWED BY Bike Vacation Fan

VBT Andalusia Bike Tour Problems

We had some issues with our VBT tour to Andulusia, Spain. We did a tour with a number of friends/family in 2012. I have done multiple tours with VBT and will post a separate review reflecting my positive feelings on those tours. Our flight was not well planned. Almost all group members coming from Madrid or Barcelona had long layovers. Food in general was lousy. Not many of us enjoyed the Spanish cuisine. Everyday, some form of Iberian ham was served. I pledge to not eat another piece of ham for a while since we had 10 days of it straight. Olives were terrific, goat cheese delicious, as was the wine. Four people in our trip had a 24 hour stomach bug. The first hit 2 days into the trip - vicious vomiting and diarrhea. The second person got it later in the trip. I was the third - which happened on the plane home to Boston, and the fourth vomited 15 minutes after the plane landed. The biking routes were very boring. Riding ad nauseam for miles everyday on roads through olive groves gets pretty old. Fortunately, the heat was not an issue. I was told that this region is known as the frying pan of Spain. One week after I returned to the US I developed a rash on my arms - actually they were bites. In time they appeared on my face, back, and stomach. My roommate ha had the same thing happen, and the rash appeared on the same day as I had. We had been bitten by bed bugs! The lodgings were pretty clean, however there was a bed bug infestation in one of the rooms! VBT is looking into this for us.

REVIEW

Location of Tour

Andalusia, Spain

Your Location

USA

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Overall rating
3.0
Guide Quality
4.0
Hotel / Accommodations
2.0
Food
2.0
Bike Quality
N/A
Value
3.0
Customer Service
4.0

REVIEWED BY R. Keen

It's not all good!

We have traveled 8 times with VBT. We are fans of VBT. The last trip was Spring 2013 to Sicily. The guides, as usual, were great, as were the bikes. The accommodations were better than on previous VBT tours. The dinners on the tour were terrible! We found delicious food on our own during the tour but the "included" dinner meals were atrocious! After an enjoyable day of riding, a great meal in a place like Sicily is, frankly expected. More surprising is the fact that I have not heard back from VBT on this issue after it was mentioned in the post trip review.

REVIEW

Location of Tour

Sicily

Your Location

Atlanta

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Overall rating
4.0
Guide Quality
5.0
Hotel / Accommodations
4.0
Food
2.0
Bike Quality
5.0
Value
4.0
Customer Service
4.0

REVIEWED BY Alvin

Magnificent exposure to the terrain, food, and culture of Andalusia.

After several VBT rides this one provided yet another outstanding vacation. Accommodations were again superb, the food and hospitality were beyond expectations, and the cultural experience was very evident in this ancient land. The guides were more like hosts and they made a lot of effort to ensure we enjoyed the trip. Much of the trip was over terrain that a standard tour would not cover and it provided an experience to be remembered over and over again.

REVIEW

Location of Tour

Spain

Your Location

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Overall rating
5.0
Guide Quality
5.0
Hotel / Accommodations
N/A
Food
N/A
Bike Quality
N/A
Value
5.0
Customer Service
N/A

REVIEWED BY Sarah

Best value

We love VBT. We do two bike tours a years and the VBT airfare packages are a great deal.

REVIEW

Location of Tour

France, Italy, Spain

Your Location

US

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Overall rating
4.6
Guide Quality
5.0
Hotel / Accommodations
4.0
Food
5.0
Bike Quality
4.0
Value
5.0
Customer Service
5.0

REVIEWED BY Annie

Could not have more praise for VBT

I couldn't have higher praise for VBT. Everything was great about this trip, guides, food, hotels, paths. I felt like it was a great deal as well factoring in airfare relative to other vendors.

REVIEW

Location of Tour

Tuscany-by-the-Sea

Your Location

Cleveland, OH

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Overall rating
5.0
Guide Quality
5.0
Hotel / Accommodations
5.0
Food
5.0
Bike Quality
5.0
Value
5.0
Customer Service
5.0

REVIEWED BY Linda Leeds

Easy? No way! More like boot camp!

1. Everyone in our group was worried sick about getting separated from the group and getting lost. The directions/maps were a joke. 2. This was NOT a relaxing vacation. We biked in high winds (duh, I know, it's windy there). 3. My bike did not fit my body, even though I specified what I needed. They tried to make me take a huge bike with a bar. 4. Once you leave the boat in the morning, you can either ride the entire 30+ miles, opt to sit in the van with the guide, or skip the entire day -- because the boat is gone!! 5. The hotel had the worst beds and pillows in the world! On the plus side: The boat was very comfortable; the food was fantastic; the crew was great. Our guides were also very nice people. BUT -- VBT just does not support them in the field. Changes had to be made to our routes, and they had to wing it. There are no pedometers, but the directions say "go 5 km. past where there would be a sign but it's missing."

REVIEW

Location of Tour

The Netherlands

Your Location

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Overall rating
3.3
Guide Quality
3.0
Hotel / Accommodations
3.0
Food
5.0
Bike Quality
3.0
Value
3.0
Customer Service
3.0

REVIEWED BY Janell

Purely Acadia

I was thinking the trip was too expense until I got there and was pampered and spoiled ! Such customer service ! The guides were fabulous and work very hard to keep everybody happy and the bikes in tip top shape. Every day is planned to perfection. There were plenty of included activities and meals and plenty of time on your own. We had a wonderful experience and plan to go with VBT again.

REVIEW

Location of Tour

Mt Desert Island, Maine

Your Location

California

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Overall rating
5.0
Guide Quality
5.0
Hotel / Accommodations
5.0
Food
5.0
Bike Quality
5.0
Value
5.0
Customer Service
5.0

REVIEWED BY Rider

Positive Views of VBT

I left a review around the Andulusia for VBT that was not so positive, but I do also want to say that I have had quite a number of other tour experiences with VBT that have been excellent. I highly recommend the VBT trips to Italy, Canadian Rockies, California, and Costa Rica. These were well planned with good riding routes, accommodation, food, and great guides.

REVIEW

Location of Tour

Italy, Canadian Rockies, California, and Costa Rica

Your Location

USA

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Overall rating
4.6
Guide Quality
5.0
Hotel / Accommodations
4.0
Food
4.0
Bike Quality
5.0
Value
4.0
Customer Service
5.0

REVIEWED BY Kay

Fantastic VBT tour in Provence

We had a great VBT trip in Provence. Our group was about 18, with a mix of avid bikers and lazy ones (e.g. us). It was no issue to hop into the sag wagon, which also carried goods from shopping in the towns/villages for us. The tour guides were from Provence. They were funny, very knowledgeable and incredibly accommodating, and arranged extra mileage and climbs for the strongest riders. The hotels, food and activities were wonderful for what we paid.

REVIEW

Location of Tour

Provence

Your Location

NYC

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Overall rating
5.0
Guide Quality
5.0
Hotel / Accommodations
5.0
Food
5.0
Bike Quality
5.0
Value
5.0
Customer Service
5.0

REVIEWED BY Cheryl S.

Amazing Danube bike tour

We had a wonderful VBT trip starting in Prague going along the Danube to Vienna. The guides were great on this tour. The food was not too memorable, probably because of where we were), but the scenery and bicycle trails were really fantastic. Almost no traffic at all, many miles on trails in forests, and along the Danube. Felt like it was great value compared to other tours we looked at.

REVIEW

Location of Tour

Prague to Vienna Along the Danube

Your Location

USA

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Overall rating
4.7
Guide Quality
5.0
Hotel / Accommodations
4.0
Food
4.0
Bike Quality
5.0
Value
5.0
Customer Service
5.0

REVIEWED BY Mel F.

VBT Tuscany

I was skeptical about going with a group, but I have to say that this trip was so well-designed that I am a convert. By the end, I had made many friends sharing the wonderful Tuscan cuisine and wine. Our guides were the best; super passionate about both cycling and Tuscany. Tuscany is gorgeous and you see so much more on a bike!

REVIEW

Location of Tour

Tuscany

Your Location

Austin, TX

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Overall rating
5.0
Guide Quality
5.0
Hotel / Accommodations
5.0
Food
5.0
Bike Quality
5.0
Value
5.0
Customer Service
5.0