Group bike tours have always been a popular way to take an active vacation in Europe. But thanks to Austin Adventures, travelers can now discover some of the continent’s best kept secrets by going beyond the bike. In a move that reflects the multisport trend in travel, the company is announcing new group tours that include the traditional two-wheeled exploration but also incorporate a variety of outdoor activities.
“Throughout the years we’ve always had great success with our biking tours, but since the multisport concept is so deeply ingrained into the ethos of our company, we know 2015 is the perfect time to take this style of adventure travel across the pond and apply it to our itineraries in Europe,” said Dan Austin, president and founder of Austin Adventures (http://www.austinadventures.com).
The company, which has a 40-year legacy in the adventure travel industry and offers trips to all seven continents, is ushering in 2015 with four new Europe multisport adventure vacations for families. The trips average $3,300 per person and include Croatia: Dalmatian Coast, Scotland: Scottish Highlands, Austria: Alps to Salzburg and France: Normandy.
In addition to its new offerings for families, Austin Adventures has seven new Europe multisport adventure vacations designed for adults. The trips average $3,500 per person and include Croatia: Dalmatian Coast, Austria/Slovenia: Carinthia to the Julian Alps, Austria: Alps to Salzburg, Spain: Catalonia, Scotland: Scottish Highlands, France: Provence and Italy: South Tyrol & the Dolomites.
Most of the multisport itineraries center around a mix of biking, hiking and kayaking, but the company’s adventure travel consultants can accommodate add-ons such as climbing, fishing, horseback riding, paragliding, parasailing, whitewater rafting and windsurfing.
All of Austin Adventures’ new Europe multisport itineraries were designed by Ron van Dijk, the company’s European Operations Director and its most experienced guide. Van Dijk began his career as a guide in 1974 when he co-led a cycling tour with his father, Wim van Dijk, one of the original founders of Euro-Bike Tours which Austin Adventures acquired in 2008.
In July, van Dijk and his wife Elfriede will lead a special 40th anniversary trip—Austin Adventures’ Italy: South Tyrol and the Dolomites tour—a six-day, five-night adventure vacation that includes hiking and cycling in the Alps and the Dolomites.
In addition to his wife, van Dijk’s son, Dennis, and his daughter, Mirjam, are also guides for Austin Adventures.
“In fact, with my daughter and son now guiding, my family is well into the third generation of tour guides. I guess I’ll plan to retire once the fourth generation is ready to roll!” said van Dijk. That day will be dreaded by the Austin Adventures guests who return year after year just for the chance to travel with van Dijk.
“Ron is the consummate professional, a connoisseur of customer service, historical knowledge, professionalism and kindness,” read a letter that Austin Adventures recently received from a couple who were on a Germany vacation guided by van Dijk in August.
Van Dijk, who manages the Austin Adventures’ European office in Holland, will make his annual trip to the company’s headquarters in Billings, MT in February. While in the U.S., he will host a webinar on the movement towards multisport travel in Europe.
All of the company’s scheduled multisport trips to Europe depart in spring and summer, but the sales team expects to see an uptick in booking during the holiday season when families are gathered together. Because trip space is limited and to encourage travelers to book early, Austin Adventures is offering to pay for pre-trip hotels for all guests who book their Europe Multisport Vacation by January 1, 2015.
In addition to multisport adventures, Austin Adventures also offers biking and hiking-specific itineraries as well as small ship cruises. All of the 2015 scheduled trips can be found in the Austin Adventures award-winning adventure vacation catalogs. Custom vacations can be arranged by calling (800) 575-1540 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.