From BikeTours.com president and founder, Jim Johnson
Even when it’s not possible to go on a European bicycle tour, it’s possible to get a taste of the experience and dream about the future.
In autumn of 2019, a video team joined me on tours to Austria, Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, and the Danube River region, and we’d like to share some highlights.
This video captures much of why I’ve been returning to Austria for more than 50 years: the majestic beauty of its mountains and lakes, the rich culture and history of its towns, and the scents, sights and sounds of its peaceful countryside.
Much of the video is of the Ciro, a wonderful rail-trail that eventually will extend from Dubrovnik to Sarajevo. It winds through quiet countryside and remote villages along a rail line built by the Austro-Hungarian Empire in the early 1900s. Some of the most stunning scenes are from routes across the hills and plateaus of Herzegovina, where sheep far outnumber people!
Most of the video was taken during BikeTours.com’s 15th Anniversary Tour by bike and boat along Croatia’s Dalmatian coast. Much of the riding shown is up and down the serpentine back roads of the island of Vis, with breathtaking views of the sea as well as a multi-mile downhill along the Peljesac peninsula, with centuries-old vineyards to the left and the azure Adriatic to the right.
The Danube route has been one of my favorites since I first rode it in the late 1990s, and with all its variations it’s been by far our clients’ favorite. It’s nearly entirely flat, away from traffic, well-marked, and with an extensive tourism infrastructure—a great range of wonderful hotels and restaurants. And, of course, the scenery is often quite breathtaking.