''Hiking" and ''biking" do more than rhyme. They get you outdoors, promote feelings of well-being, and give travelers the kind of close-up look at a destination that no other means of transportation provide. Here are some possibilities in various gears:
Easy Rider Tours' new Praias & Palaces bike tour covers both Portugal's mountaintop village of Sintra, where generations of rulers built opulent summer residences, and the country's popular beaches. The six-day trip is designed with the novice cyclist in mind, averaging 15 to 20 miles daily. The itinerary builds in time to linger along the sandy beaches (praias) and explore the royal palaces, parks, and gardens of Sintra. Departures will be in April, May, June, September, and October. The price of $2,350 per person includes accommodations, most meals including all dinners with wine, use of a 27-speed hybrid bicycle, two bilingual Portuguese cycling guides, and a support vehicle. Guided tours of the Sintra and Pena palaces and wine tasting are also included.
Visit www.easyridertours.com or call 800-488-8332.
Book a five-day heli-hiking trip in the Canadian Rockies with Abercrombie & Kent for Aug. 1 or Aug. 5 departure and save $1,375 off the cost of other weeks. A helicopter takes you from place to place, eliminating the strenuous climbing, so that you can walk amid glaciers, alpine meadows, hidden waterfalls, and wildlife. Participants don't exactly rough it when they stay three nights in a lodge with high-speed Internet access and an outdoor whirlpool and gourmet meals. The discounted departures are $3,575 a person.
Visit www.abercrombiekent.com or call 800-554-7016.
Country Walkers of Waterbury, Vt., takes its guests to Eastern Europe with trips that include a seven-night exploration called Slovakia: Budapest to Krakow, with departures in May, June, July, and August. This new tour takes walkers along wooded trails, open pastures, and alpine lakes throughout Slovakia, including the UNESCO World Heritage site of Banská Stiavnica in the country's mountainous north-central region. Prices start at $3,098 per person, with all meals included.
Visit www.countrywalkers.com or call 800-464-9255.
Unlike the preceding offers, VBT biking vacations includes round-trip air fare in its pricing, although there is a land-only option as well. For instance, Ireland: Galway & Connemara Coast starts at $2,595 for 10 days, including round-trip air fare from Boston, or $1,995 for seven days, land only. Either way, you get accommodations, most meals, use of custom bicycles, the service of two regional trip leaders, van support, most transfers, and sightseeing and other cultural activities. Departures are on various dates from May through September.
Visit www.vbt.com or call 800-245-3868 and mention code EAAG714.
Euro Bike & Walking Tours will have you exploring England's Cotswolds on foot with a six-day expedition in which the walking is described as easy to moderately easy. Come on, you know you've always wanted to visit places named Chipping Campden and Lower Slaughter. Breakfasts, dinners, guide services, and hotel taxes and tips are included in the price of $2,850. Departures are on dates in April, June, and October.
Visit www.eurobike.com or call 800-321-6060.
Somerville-based DuVine Adventures is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year with new tours, including a six-day Vineyards to Alps tour of Switzerland for $3,195.Starting in French-speaking Suisse-Romande, bikers follow lakeside trails through the vineyards of the Lavaux and Chablais. They take a train into the Alps to cycle downhill through historic towns, villages, and pretty countryside. The final descent is to the German-speaking Jungfrau region with its mountain scenery. Included are use of a 27-speed aluminum bicycle; accommodations; breakfasts, two lunches, and four dinners; guide services; admissions; wine tasting; transportation from rendezvous to dropoff; and hotel fees and tips.
Visit www.duvine.com or call 888-396-5383.
To register, call 800-307-5000 (select option 2) and mention promotion code 31306, or visit www.amtrak.com and click on Hot Deals.
Call 617-937-5600, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
Visit www.tourcrafters.com or call 800-482-5995.
Call 603-569-5702 (9 a.m.-9 p.m.).
Go to www.andalucia.org and once you get past the musical introduction, click on Routes Through Flamenco Territories.
Visit www.languageline.com or call 800-752-6096.
Call TCS Expeditions at 866-276-9077 or visit www.tcs-expeditions.com.
When not included, hotel taxes, airport fees, and port charges can add significantly to the price of a trip. Most prices quoted are for double occupancy; solo travelers will usually pay more. Offers are subject to availability, and there may be blackout dates. Contact Richard P. Carpenter at firstname.lastname@example.org.