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Photo Guide of Kentucky Bourbon Country

Three cyclists ride across iron bridge

Bluegrass. Bourbon. Horse Country. Experience the understated beauty of Kentucky Bourbon Country in this day-by-day photo guide taken by our talented guest, Bob Joy.


Day 1: Ride the Legacy Trail and explore downtown Lexington:
Take your first pedal strokes through horse country on the Legacy Trail Bike Path. You’ll wind your way past the Kentucky Horse Park and into rolling fields of beautiful horse farms. Your ride ends at Evans Orchard Cider Mill, where you’ll shuttle back to Lexington to walk around downtown to do some exploring before joining your group in the bar at Lockbox for a fun social hour and dinner.

Bike Tour in Kentucky

Day 2: Tour MeadowCreek Farm and enjoy a tour and bourbon tasting at Limestone Branch Distillery:
Start your day at MeadowCreek Farm, just outside the town of Lebanon. The farm is home to several impeccably pedigreed horses with impressive wins on their resumes and you will have the chance for some up-close views of these amazing creatures! After the tour, your guides will shuttle you to Limestone Branch Distillery. Ride a loop through the hills around Lebanon on quiet country roads before enjoying a tasty picnic lunch. After lunch, you’ll get a guided tour of the distillery and a bourbon tasting.

Bike Tour in Kentucky's Bourbon Country

Day 3: Explore Shaker Village and take a guided hayride tour:
Today you’ll explore the many offerings of the Shaker Village area. The morning’s ride will take you northwest, on roads through open farmland in the Salt River watershed. Upon your return to the village, the rest of the afternoon is yours to spend as you like. Choose to ride a bit more, to the small town of Burgin, or set out on a hike through the Preserve which features over 30 miles of trail through native prairies, woodlands, fields, and canebrakes. Or you may opt to take one of the many tours offered daily to learn about the Shakers who lived here around the turn of the nineteenth century. In the late afternoon, you will join your travel companions for a drink and narrated hayride, which will introduce you to the rich history of the village.

Bourbon Trail Bike Trip

Day 4: Ride to Versailles, visit Woodford Reserve, and arrive at the Kentucky Castle:
Ride alongside the Kentucky River and through several of its tributary drainages on the morning ride as you cross unique bridges and pass through forests and small farms. When you arrive in downtown Versailles, you’ll have a number of fresh and delicious lunch options to choose from. Then hop back on your bike for a short ride to Woodford Reserve Distillery, one of Kentucky’s oldest and most highly acclaimed distilleries.

Bourbon Tasting in Kentucky

Day 5: Tour Castle & Key Distillery, enjoy lunch overlooking Glenn’s Creek, and toast your week at the Kentucky Castle
You’ll start your day riding your way to Castle & Key, a small boutique distillery that has recently undergone a careful restoration. The distillery was built in In 1887 by legendary distiller Colonel Edmund Haynes Taylor, Jr. and features a castle, a classical springhouse, and sunken gardens. On a guided walk through the property, you’ll learn about the owners’ from-scratch process of distilling spirits. Enjoy a tasting of their craft then head just down the road to The Stave for lunch. Here, a menu of modern twists on favorite Kentucky dishes awaits while you relax on the patio that overlooks Glenn’s Creek.

Cycling Tour in Kentucky

Day 6: Cycle past the immaculate grounds of the Keeneland Race Track:
Enjoy one final spin through the green pastures of the storied grounds of the Keeneland Race Track, listed on the National Register of Historic Places and once voted the #1 thoroughbred racetrack in North America.

Kentucky Bourbon Trail Bike Tour

Many thanks to our guest, Bob Joy, for contributing the photos for this post!

See the the Kentucky Bourbon Country trip

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Our Guide’s best photos from 2022

A group hiking in Norway

As we gear up for the upcoming travel season in 2023, our team of skilled guides is eager to hit the road again. To get us all in the mood, we wanted to reflect on some of the most stunning moments captured in 2022, as voted on by our dedicated guides and office team.

Best Co-Guide Photo: Martin Coyle

Martin took an outstanding picture while exploring Glacier National Park with his fellow co-guides. The breathtaking scenery of the park provided ample opportunities for capturing great photos, but this one in particular stood out among the rest.

Best Picnic Photo: Megan Waldbillig

Nothing beats a picnic in a National Park after a day of biking and hiking, and our guides wholeheartedly agree! Megan went above and beyond by not only creating a delicious spread for her guests, but also capturing a photo that deserves recognition as the best picnic of the year.

Best Activity Photo: Laura Lefranc

Every trip features unique experiences and adventures that guests will remember forever. While in Norway last year, Laura took a great photo while the group was hiking to the stunning Feigefosse waterfall.

Best Group Photo: Stefano Lingua

Our trips are all about making memories and capturing the fun. One of the highlights is always the group photo! Stefano snapped a winner with this shot in the Dolomites – a real crowd-pleaser!

Best Rider Photo: Laura Lefranc

The breathtaking scenery of Provence is a photographer’s dream come true! Laura captured the magic with this amazing shot of a guest cycling through the Gorges de la Nesque.

Best North American Photo: Jonathan Hershberger

Utah’s Bryce and Zion National Park boast a one-of-a-kind landscape unique to the American Southwest. It’s no wonder why it was named the best photo in North America!

Best European Photo: Stefano Lingua

Stefano nailed it again with another amazing shot in the Dolomites. This fantastic photo was voted the best European photo by our guides!

Most Epic Photo: Nick Bouzianis

Nick got an amazing bird’s-eye view and snapped this epic aerial photo as the seasons were changing in Vermont.

Photo of the year: Giorgio Cordini

Giorgio snapped the photo of the year in the incredible setting of the Dolomites! The image perfectly captures the grandeur of the region, and shows off Giorgio’s talent for capturing such a striking image.

Virtual Travels: Ireland

Cyclist on mountain pass flanked by river

Rolling green pastures. A pint of Guinness at the local pub. Warm Irish hospitality. Experience the breathtaking beauty of Ireland’s Ring of Kerry and Glencar Valley from home in this day-by-day photo gallery using pictures from our guest, Bob Joy.


Day 1: Get your first taste of Irish hospitality

Bike Tour in Ireland

Day 2: Explore the famous Ring of Kerry and visit the medieval Cahergall Fort

Bike Tour in Ireland

Day 3: Ride the famous Gap of Dunloe and enjoy a walking tour led by a Kenmare local

Ireland Bike Trip

Day 4: Pedal to Castletownbere and tackle Healy Pass

Ireland cycling holiday

Day 5: Indulge in a chocolate tasting and join a local fisherman to explore Bantry Bay by boat

Cycling Tour in Ireland

Day 6: Ride the Molls Gap climb or take a relaxing walk to town

Ireland cycling Tour

Many thanks to our guest, Bob Joy, for contributing the photos for this post!

See the full Ireland itinerary

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Top 25 Photos from Chile

Warning: pictures barely do it justice.

Our Chile bike tour introduces you to a combination of mountainous terrain and natural beauty like you’ve never seen. So when Trek Travel cycling guide and professional photographer Zack Jones had the chance to guide our first ever Chile trip, he jumped at the opportunity without a moment’s hesitation.

Over the past 15 years, Zack has continually surprised and delighted Trek Travel guests with stunning imagery and exceptional service. So we sent him down to South America with one assignment: capture all that Chile has to offer. The Araucarias UNESCO Reserve and Kütralkura Geopark. The outdoor mecca of Pucón, situated on a lake beneath the Villarrica volcano. The Seven Lakes route that leads into the Huilo-Huilo Biological Reserve. And the region’s finest hotels, with majestic views and celebrity pedigrees.

For your viewing pleasure, we’ve created a collection of our favorite photographs from our first season in Chile.

Join us for a Chilean adventure!

Guide Takeover: Puglia

Guides Jason Harding and Sonja Schmidt recently took over the Trek Travel Instagram account to share their perspective of Puglia, Italy. “Puglia is such an incredible place to visit. Sonja and I were able to dive into the region a bit more this spring and can’t believe that it’s already over. Looking back on the last month and a half makes us want to find ourselves back here in the fall,” said Jason.

Follow their adventures on Instagram @jasonhardingmt and @sonjaschmidt.

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Puglia Olive Trees from Trek Travel Guide Jason Harding

“Sometime between 2,000 and 2,500 years ago, Roman legions sowed these quadrants of lantern oil producing olive trees. Without irrigation and infrequent precipitation, they decided 60 Roman feet was the ideal separation for these hearty trees. Today they stand at Masseria Brancati outside of modern day Ostuni and produce the most premium Extra Virgin Olive Oil in all of Puglia. I guess those Romans knew what they were doing…” – JASON

Adriatic coast on Trek Travel's Puglia, Italy Cycling Vacation

“From trulli and olive groves to the rugged Adriatic coastline, this Trek Travel Puglia trip is off the chain! Jason Harding and I have been making some sweet changes to our already amazing trip. This is a little slice of heaven on our fourth day ride!” – SONJA

Learn about trulli on Trek Travel's Puglia Bike Tour

“A view from our second day ride to the hilltop town of Alberobello. These dwellings are called ‘trulli’ and this entire town is filled with them! These were cleverly built without the use of mortar to evade taxes because the structures were not permanent. Crafty Pugliese!” – SONJA

Discover Moorish palaces on Trek Travel's Puglia, Italy Bike Tour

“Our final ride on the Puglia trip takes you down to the heel of Italy’s boot; where the Adriatic and Ionian seas meet. This ride has epic coastal views and it also displays a major change in architecture. These Moorish palaces line the coast and this one, Palazzo Sticchi, has to be the most beautiful.” – SONJA

Stay at La Sommita Relais on Trek Travel's Puglia Bike Tour

“For 2016 we have a refreshed itinerary that includes a new hotel. La Sommita Relais is nestled within the polished limestone slab streets of Ostuni, The White City. After our Day 3 ride meanders through countless hectares of olive orchard, we begin a short climb up to this picturesque town who’s history of inhabitants can be traced back to the Stone Age.” – SONJA

Discovering Ostuni on Trek Travel's Puglia, Italy bike Tour

“Out exploring the White City, Ostuni, with Sonja Schmidt. After tasting the best olive oil in Puglia at Masseria Brancati we rode our bikes up to the historical center of this hill top town, where our five-star hotel, La Sommita Relais shares a property line with the cathedral.” – JASON

Puglia's coastal roads on Trek Travel's Italy bike tour

“We were on the hunt today for some new gems for the 5th and final ride of our upcoming Puglia trips. The approach to this one was a bit too dicey to make the cut, but it sure was an interesting part of the day!” – JASON

The World's Most Romantic Restaurant in Puglia, Italy

“A beautiful little spin scoping out some new terrain today. Sonja Schmidt wanted to check out the setting for Travel + Leisure’s ‘World’s Most Romantic Restaurant’. Ristorante Grotta Palazzese sits in a cavern, mid-cliff, right underneath where Sonja is sitting.” – JASON

Soaking in the sights of Matera on Trek Travel's Puglia, Italy bike tour

“Framed by this cliff side limestone archway, Sonja Schmidt soaks in the sights of modern day Matera. Opposite the canyon from this beautiful city lies the oldest known human settlement in Italy. Inside each cave, the intricate hand dug channels and water retaining reservoirs tell the story of early human ingenuity and our quest for comfort and survival.” – JASON

Discovering Polignano a Mare on Trek Travel's Puglia Bike Tour

“Puglia has so many gems and this little town, Polignano a Mare, is certainly one of them. Beaches, jagged cliffs, and Travel + Leisure’s most romantic restaurant winner.” – SONJA

Local cyclists on Trek Travel's Puglia, Italy cycling vacation

“Puglia seems to have more local cycling clubs/teams than anywhere I’ve seen. We definitely saw at least 100 people on our ride today, all locals super excited to see the Trek Travel van. These gents stopped to chat and then wanted to take a selfie. When they yelled ‘cheese’ I yelled ‘mozzarella!’ and they yelled back ‘BURRATA!’ and then we all laughed.” – SONJA

See Castel Del Monte on Trek Travel's Puglia Cycling Vacation

“Amazing things around every corner down here in Puglia. The geometric, octagonal prism shape of Castel Del Monte, built by Frederick II, makes for one of the most beautiful castles I’ve ever come upon.” – SONJA

Riding from Otranto to Santa Maria de Leuca on Trek Travel's Puglia Bike Tour

“Coastline as far as the eye can see. Our Trek Travel week of cycling through Puglia certainly finishes with a bang on this flowing dream ride from Otranto to Santa Maria de Leuca!” – JASON

Eat fresh muscles on Trek Travel's Puglia, Italy Bike Tour

“Salento: the sun, the wind, and the sea. We weren’t going anywhere until we shared some muscles with this sweet dude. Come join us this fall to start your ride with a muscle shooter!” – SONJA

Experience Puglia firsthand this fall!

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Industry Insider: Graham Watson

You’ve seen the photos. Riders throwing their hands in the air as they cross the finish line. The dust covered peloton crushing the cobbles of Roubaix. But have you ever wondered who’s lucky enough to experience all the biggest moments from the best vantage point? Graham Watson has spent three decades documenting the sport and capturing races from the back of a motorbike. The pain, the glory, the determination and the heartbreak — nothing is safe from lens of cycling’s most famous photographer.

Graham Watson Tour of Flanders Fabian

Tell us your story. What inspired you to pursue a career in photography? How did you get started in the cycling industry?

To be honest, I was so uninterested in studying at high school in London that by the time it came to leave at age 16, in 1972, most ‘normal’ careers were beyond my reach — and photography seemed like a nicer way to make a living anyway. I took a job in a ‘high-end’ portrait studio in central London, then bought a bicycle for the commute as I was only getting paid about $15 a week and couldn’t afford the train fare. I became a club racing-cyclist because of the daily mileage, then discovered the Tour de France on a visit to Paris in 1977. The rest is history. I sensed the adventures to be had by becoming a cycling photographer.

What is the most challenging aspect of photographing cycling?

I think it is the expense and logistics of travel. Cycling is most definitely a worldwide sport and you have to be in it 100-percent or you are wasting your time, hence a lot of traveling and little or no contact with family and friends for months on end. These days, you need a lot of clients to fund your travel, as few magazines or agencies have the cash to pay expenses. More clients means more income, and it can snowball even bigger too. But in turn there’s a long workflow each and every day. Such challenges, however, are more than compensated by achieving a lifestyle like no other.

What is your favorite race to photograph and why?

Paris-Roubaix is my favorite one-day race. It’s the maddest, fastest, most crazy day of the year. A race where good photography is guaranteed. I like a stage-race like the Tour de Romandie, or the Giro d’Italia – both are much quieter than the Tour de France and take place when there’s snow on the mountains, plenty of greenery in the valleys, and many fresh legs in the peloton too.

Graham Watson Professional Cycling Photographer Paris Roubaix

Graham Watson Professional Cycling Photographer Paris Roubaix

Graham Watson Professional Cycling Photographer Giro d'Italia

Tell us about your typical day at the Tour de France.

Depending on how much wine one drank the evening before, and therefore how much caffeine is needed to recover over breakfast, I’ll try to be at the start about two hours early to settle down and discuss the coming stage with my moto-driver. I’ll study the ‘race manual’ to identify scenic locations, and to anticipate the racing to-come – both aspects influence how I’ll photograph the stage. I like to leave behind the peloton unless there’s a definite chance of an early scenery shot. Leaving in the wake of the peloton allows me to get some early action shots of cyclists fiddling with their bikes or their clothing, and to see the race unwind too. You can predict a lot about what might happen later because of the early action. And you get to see if any of the big names are still as strong, as each day goes by – or are they getting weaker? Anticipation is everything in a sport and environment that is so beyond one’s control – anything can happen and often does, and being behind the peloton is the best place to observe. Once the racing unfolds, and once an escape has gotten clear, I make a decision as to when we pass the peloton, when we get far ahead in the search of that perfect scenery shot, and also when I need to start shooting the escape or the front of the peloton. Because a client like Trek needs 6-8 action shots of its riders each day, I have to guess the best way of doing this – to stop on a corner or on a descent, or just try to do some passing shots when we are crossing the peloton. It is quite hard to pick out individual riders from a 200-man peloton, but by the time the Tour starts I will already have photographed the team for the past six months, so I can see them from a long way off. In the Tour, the racing really starts in the last 90-minutes, and by this point I have to give up scenery and individual action shots and just photograph the race. It is the quickest 90-minutes I’ll ever experience! Before one knows it, the stage is over, the podium has taken place, and photographers like me are buried in their post-stage workflow. Three hours work is a minimum period post-stage, and by then it’s off to the hotel and trying to beat the annoyingly French tradition of closing the restaurants at 9pm. Behind the glamour of working the Tour and the supposed flirtation with French gastronomy is a reality that sees most of us eating in a fast-food outlet at least twice a week.

Graham Watson professional cycling photographer for Trek Factory Racing

Graham Watson Professional Cycling Photographer for Trek Factory Racing

Describe your favorite moment that you’ve captured on camera.

After a 35-year-career, I think it came in this year’s Giro d’Italia! Richie Porte suffered a flat tire on Stage 10 and a rival teammate stopped to give him his front wheel. Such assistance was unheard of, and certainly something I’d never seen, let alone photographed. My images showed a true act of sportsmanship, which moved me greatly. Yet Simon Clarke and Richie had unknowingly broken the rules, and my images went around the world on Twitter and helped get them both fined and penalized on-time. We all had a good laugh a few days later, but I’ll remember those images for a long time to come.

Graham Watson cycling photographer Giro d'Italia

Graham Watson professional cycling photographer at the Giro

What tips would you give aspiring photographers?

It’s hard to give advice without knowing the photographer or knowing the extent of his or her equipment. So I always suggest to keep things simple at first, using one camera body with one lens until their experience grows. It’s important and advantageous to know as much about your sport as is possible – this gives you a huge advantage over other non-cycling specialists. Always see the sport as a bigger thing than just sport. Cycling is a beautiful vocation, so make sure you also show the beauty of the sport as well as capturing those crisp action shots. Finally, a major issue in this day and age, take care not to get in the way of the cyclists. Keep in to the curb as much as you can, because a Tour peloton uses every inch of the road and they don’t take prisoners.

You have traveled the globe for work. Do you have a favorite vacation destination? What excites you most about this part of the world?

Switzerland is a place I can go back to time and time again. Its lakes and mountains make it the most beautiful country in Europe I think. And it is also a fantastic adventure playground. For all the same reasons, I love New Zealand too – a version of Switzerland in the southern hemisphere. But to be honest, I love all the places my ‘business’ takes me to – from Flanders to the Dolomites to Paris to central Spain to the Netherlands to Tuscany to Provence – and I always want to go back when there’s no work to be done.

Graham Watson Professional Race Cycling Photographer

Graham Watson Professional Cycling Photographer Tour de Suisse

5 Tips for Travel Photography

The photograph is of a 25-inch rainbow trout lying exhausted in the shallow waters of the Harper River in New Zealand. Looking at this 10-year-old picture reignites all my senses—the cold water, the morning breeze, the warm sun, the smell of the mountains, and the tug of the trout. Taking this trip down memory lane reminds me why I travel and why I take photographs when I do.

Words and Photos by Chris Corbin
An outdoor enthusiast whose quest for happiness has driven him to create digital brand experiences.

Chris Corbin Photography

Chris Corbin Photography

1. Shoot for Yourself

I enjoy the process of shooting a photograph. I take pictures to remember the journey, but mostly I shoot for myself. I’m the only person that sees 90 percent of the photos I take and it’s these images that bring me some of my greatest joys.

Chris Corbin Photography

2. Keep Learning

I’ve never taken a single photography or videography class, but I’ve spent countless hours watching tutorials and studying styles that fascinate me. There are a wealth of resources online that can help you hone your skills. My favorite is lynda.com. They offer both free resources and subscription services.

Chris Corbin Photography

Chris Corbin Photography

3. It’s Not About the Gear

My most expensive camera costs $600 and it’s called an iPhone. I also have a point-and-shoot camera, but it only cost $500. For me, it’s about seeing the shot—not the lens attached to the camera.

Chris Corbin Photography

4. Simplify

Limiting your camera options actually increases creativity. For example, I shot every frame of the video below using a GoPro Hero 3. Seven thousand photos later and I have an experience that will last a lifetime. I love to shoot photos and video when I travel but I don’t like to carry camera bags. When the gear impacts your shooting decisions, I think you’ve missed the most important piece.

5. Use Your Legs

Because of my commitment to keeping things simple, I end up using my legs to get the shot I want. This has led to some wild detours, but I wouldn’t want it any other way.

As I flip to the next image, I’m quickly reminded of the fun I had. Photos allow me to cement these memories, and for that I’m thankful.

Chris Corbin Photography

Chris Corbin Photography

Private

If a date is marked as Private, it is reserved for a private group.

Looking to travel with a small group or looking for a custom date?
Call our trip consultants at 866-464-8735

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.

Luxury:

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.

Explorer:

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

Combined:

On select cycling vacations, you’ll stay at a mix of Explorer and Luxury hotels. Rest assured, no matter which hotel level 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?

Classic - Reserve:

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 - Discover:

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.

Self-Guided

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