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A Painting in Prague

When my husband and I were planning our fifth Trek Travel vacation, we knew exactly where to go to celebrate this milestone. So together with our 23 year old daughter and my 78 year old father-in-law, we signed up for the Prague to Vienna vacation.

This trip was especially meaningful for us because my family has a historical connection to the great Czech painter Alphonse Mucha. My great grandfather was a diplomat and art patron who helped introduce Mucha to America, and commissioned him to paint a portrait of my grandmother which now hangs in the National Gallery in Prague. Of course it was a priority for us to see the painting, so we arranged to arrive in Prague two days before the start of our Trek Travel trip.
The colorful Czech village on the Trek Travel's Prague to Vienna bike tour.
This is when Trek Travel went the extra mile.

We contacted the trip designer to see if she could help us make the most out of our time in Prague. She put us in touch with a local tour guide who became our resource for all things Czech. Not only did he get us into the National Gallery, and made sure we would be able to photograph the portrait of my grandmother, but he also knew the Mucha family and was able to arrange a visit with Mucha’s daughter-in-law. She graciously gave us a tour of her family home, which was full of original artworks, and talked to us about Mucha’s life and work. This was an amazing experience we never would have found on our own!
Trek Travel guests share stories of their Prague to Vienna cycling vacation
The rest of the trip was equally grand, with beautiful scenery, great bicycling, fabulous food, wine and beer, and lots of quality family time. The chance to see the Czech Republic as it emerged from behind the Iron Curtain, and to hear about that transition from locals, was quite amazing. The guides were adept at dealing with changing circumstances, from finding a fabulous restaurant with a private room for lunch when rain would have made picnicking difficult, to arranging for travel by riverboat on the Danube when the weather was a bit wet for a few of us “fair weather” riders. Especially for my father-in-law, who does not ride a bike, this cruise became his favorite part of the trip!

For myself and my family, it was these experiences not on the itinerary that became the highlights of our trip. We still reminisce about that serendipitous meeting and unexpected wow’s many years later.

– Peggy Timmerman
Trek Travel guests cycling in Czech Republic and Austria

Prague to Vienna: Breaking Down Borders

Well, it used to be the main event – the differences between the Czech Republic and Austria are palpable but what truly punctuated the experience between the two was crossing the border by bicycle. A moment where passports were checked and stamped; people really felt like they were changing countries because they were! Well, no more. What was once an official checkpoint for our guests, following our “last” lunch in Nove Hrady en route to Weitra and all things Austrian, had become somewhat of a non-event a short time following the entry of the Czech Republic into the European Union and the end to controlled boundaries. Border patrol huts, a road with a line across it and approaching speed limits reducing down to 30 km/hour …and tumbleweeds.

A few years of tossing some ideas around (with little more than photo moments at the country signs being the result) have come and gone with my co-guides and myself. Until this year when Lacey Bartels, my fresh-faced co-guide with a fresh perspective decided that we were going to resurrect the crossing! No sooner had the decision been made then we found ourselves in an army surplus shop in Cesky Krumlov. Who knew? After 4 years working here I had never noticed this shop until this day. For a surprisingly nominal amount we were able to piece together a fairly convincing border guard outfit [from the waist up, at any rate]. Well, it was a Czech army jacket and we were playing an Austrian guard…but these are minor details, right?

Plan in place: the guide driving the van that day feigning necessary logistics. We must go ahead and prepare the border patrol for our group crossing. Instructions: everyone must have their passport ready and travel as a group to expedite the process.

I was first to experiment with our Customs and Immigration Theatre. I drove like a demon to the then unpopulated border. The original structure still in place, I quickly changed into the ‘official’ outfit and waited. In the meantime, outsiders had gathered. I must admit at this point I am feeling a tad foolish, having realized that I am making a mockery of their now defunct system. However, here come the riders…and every theatre needs an audience, I suppose.

As instructed, and led in by Lacey, they arrive as a group. I jump out from my hiding spot and yell ‘Halt’ with arm raised. I actually had them fooled for a moment. Just a moment but it was fun while it lasted. Hiding behind the aviator sunglasses provided by Lacey certainly helped.  I demanded to see passports, and asked a few questions in a way that would have made my public school drama teacher proud, if not the Austrian national guard. The group tuned in quickly and, while laughing, played along. Same time next week, our roles were reversed and Lacey fine-tuned the experience. She was certainly far stricter–not everyone was allowed to cross. They would be forever enjoying beer for breakfast and would not be allowed to cycle to those hills so very much alive with the sound of music…. Well, not really. But it was fun to pretend.

And so, success! A border crossing to remember!

Prague border Prague border


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What is the Difference?

Ultimate Luxury:

Savor some of the most spectacular, 5-star properties in the world. Exuding luxury and elegance, these one-of-a-kind accommodations offer the chance to rejuvenate at award-winning spas, dine at Michelin-starred restaurants, and more.


Enjoy luxurious accommodations handpicked for a refined experience. From signature spa treatments to delicious local cuisine, you’ll be more than provided for; you’ll be pampered.


These handpicked hotels provide relaxation and fun in a casual and comfortable environment. Delicious cuisine and great service mix perfectly for a memorable stay.


On select cycling vacations, you’ll stay at a mix of hotel levels, from Explorer to Luxury to Ultimate Luxury. Rest assured, no matter which level of hotel you’re at, our trip designers carefully select every accommodation.

Activity Level

Level 1:

Road: 1-3 hours of riding. Up to 25 mi (40 km). Up to 1,000 ft (300 m).

Gravel: 1-3 hours of riding. Up to 20 mi (35 km). Up to 1,000 ft (300 m).

Hiking: 1-3 hours of hiking. Up to 5 mi (8 km). Up to 1,000 ft (300 m).

Level 2:

Road: 2-4 hours of riding. 20-35 mi (35-60 km). Up to 2,500 ft (750 m).

Gravel: 2-4 hours of riding. 15-30 mi (25-45 km). Up to 2,000 ft (300 m).

Hiking: 2-4 hours of hiking. 4-8 mi (6-12 km). Up to 1,500 ft (450 m).

Level 3:

Road: 3-5 hours of riding. 25-55 mi (40-85 km). Up to 4,500 ft (1,500 m).

Gravel: 3-5 hours of riding. 20-40 mi (35-60 km). Up to 3,000 ft (900 m).

Hiking: 3-5 hours of hiking. 6-10 mi (9-16 km). Up to 2,000 ft (600 m).

Level 4:

Road: 4+ hours of riding. 40-70 mi (60-110 km). Up to 8,000 ft (2,400 m).

Gravel: 4+ hours of riding. 30-50 mi (45-80 km). Up to 4,000 ft (1,200 m).

Hiking: 4+ hours of hiking. 7-15 mi (11-24 km). Up to 4,000 ft (1,200 m).

What are your trip styles?

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Savor the finer things as you relax in luxurious 5-star accommodations and wine, dine, and ride in some of the most unforgettable destinations around the world.

Classic - Signature:

Explore beautiful destinations by bike, enjoy extra inclusions, savor delicious local cuisine, and enjoy the perfect mix of accommodations.

Classic - Discovor:

Enjoy a casual cycling vacation with fantastic routes and comfortable accommodations.

Ride Camp:

Train like the pros in some of their favorite riding destinations.

Pro Race:

See the pros in action at the biggest cycling events of the year.

Cross Country:

Tackle an epic adventure that takes you point-to-point across mountains, countryside, and more.


Enjoy a bike tour on your schedule with just your chosen travel companions.

Single Occupancy

Sometimes it’s more convenient and comfortable to have your own room while on vacation. We understand and that’s why we offer a Single Occupancy option. The additional price guarantees a private room all to yourself