A new trend is afoot. What for many years was the mainstay of adventure travel in Europe, the traditional bike tour no longer offers enough variety and satisfaction for active American travelers. Tours that can offer a combination of experiences and activities are now the hot ticket.
Decades ago, Austin Adventures helped pioneer the concept of multisport travel in North America. They have witnessed this evolution and, in 2018, have fully embraced European tours with much more than only cycling.
“While pedal tours are a great way to see a country, they do have their limits. The ‘perfect’ bike ride isn’t necessarily convenient or available every day,” explains Dan Austin, visionary President and Founder of Austin Adventures. “With multisport travel you can hand-pick the best of the best. Each day we focus on the perfect activity to pursue, be it biking, hiking, paddling or whatever.”
For example, Austin Adventures selects activities that each destination is best known for. “You wouldn’t want to miss kayaking in Croatia or hiking in the Dolomites, would you? Don’t get us wrong; we love cycling but we also love the excitement and flexibility multisport gives us and the experiences and memories it provides for our guests,” adds Austin.
So, what has driven this evolution in the company’s European itineraries? Austin points to its loyal trip alumni (representing some 70 percent of annual sales). They bird-dogged Austin’s team for new ways to experience Europe beyond the company’s time-tested and popular bike tours.
The result is an enhanced and expanded roster of Europe Multisport Adventures – Beyond Bike Touring that draws on underutilized – certainly by Americans – coastal waters and lakes for kayaking, compelling alpine regions begging for hikers and more.
Austin Adventures’ deep experience in Europe – over 30 years – means that active travelers can now nibble on Europe as the locals do – taking the time off a trail and over lunch to observe, for example, how the French slice their cheeses, how Germans pour beer and how a Croatian guide’s family lives.
Austin Adventures’ Director of European Operations, Adam Beecham, wants guests to explore Europe like a European, by revolutionizing the way Americans view adventure travel. This is accomplished by incorporating physical, mental and social elements into each adventure. He also wants to dig into Europe’s highly specialized cultures with visits, for example, to futuristic greenhouses in Holland, organic wine producers in France, places where German precision and engineering are showcased, local craft breweries in Belgium and to Italian kitchens for making homemade pasta.
“Our revamped trips to Europe will be more sustainable, involve more local experts and cultural exchanges while taking in the best of each culture, all with their signature Austin Adventures service on a silver platter,” Beecham promises.
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