Now that we’re living in the Netherlands, I’m pondering all the awesome bike trips we can do here and in surrounding countries. We prefer to go the self-guided route, though I love to scour catalogs of group tour outfitters to see what they’re up to and get route ideas. One new offering from VBT Bicycling and Walking Vacations caught my fancy so much that I had to spread the word. So I wrote a brief ditty about it for the In Transit section of the New York Times. Who doesn’t want to go to a gherkin pickle business or paddle through Spreewald, for crying out loud? Here’s the scoop:
“Berlin to Dresden: Hidden Gems of Eastern Germany,” a new trip for 2015 from VBT Bicycling and Walking Vacations, features connections with local residents, a lesson in sauerkraut making, and wine sampling at a local vineyard. Bicycling routes follow easy terrain with optional rolling hills. Stops along the way include the landscaped gardens of Potsdam’s world-famous Sanssouci Park and palace; the lush wetlands and tranquil waterways of the Spreewald, a UNESCO biosphere reserve; a visit to the 300-year-old Meissen porcelain factory to learn how the dishware is made; and a trip to the sandstone peaks of the Bastei, in Saxon Switzerland National Park.
Riders will having several opportunities to speak with local East Germans, including dining with a family on their cucumber farm, where a generations-old gherkin pickling business is run that was originally under the control of the East German state under communism and then purchased back after the fall of the Berlin Wall 25 years ago. The tour concludes in the cultural capital of Dresden, which travelers will explore on a walking tour.
This 10-day itinerary starts at $3,745 including international airfare, with a $200 discount for reservations made by Oct. 15. Add-ons include a pre-trip to Berlin and a post-trip to Prague.