For the first time, in summer 2009, Austin-Lehman Adventures (ALA) brings its sought-after active family vacation programs to Europe with four family-friendly cycling trips exploring France, Holland, Germany and Austria.

“Routes have been carefully assessed both for cycling ease and inclusion of those sites and scenes that will be of most interest to children as well as their parents,” says director Dan Austin.

As a point of distinction that sets ALA apart from other cycle tour operators, Austin explains, “Instead of focusing on the most prestigious lodgings with paths that get us there, we first choose the best pedaling paths, most scenic routes and least trafficked byways and then target the most charming, authentic lodgings to serve as our way stations along our family-friendly routes.”

ALA is one of the most trusted names in all-inclusive, active and culturally rewarding vacations, widely recognized for their unique family travel programs.

The four new European itineraries for 2009 include:

France Family: La Loire Valley of the Kings
July 11-18 and Aug. 15-22; 8 days / 7 nights at $3,498 per adult double ($565 single supplement); $3,148 first child, $2,798 additional child. Includes a stop at Le Clos Lucé in Amboise, to explore the countless inventions at this last residence of Leonardo da Vinci plus kayaking on the Vienne River.

Holland Family: Bike Paths, Windmills & Pancakes
July 19-26 and Aug. 9-16; 8 days / 7 nights at $2,998 per adult double ($510 single supplement); $2,698 first child, $2,398 additional child. Itinerary includes exploration of a 17th century working windmill in Schermer and a breeding center for giant storks.

Germany Family: Mosel Magic 
July 11-17 and Aug. 8-14; 6 days / 5 nights at $2,498 per adult double ($480 single supplement); $2,248 first child, $1,998 additional child. Itinerary includes a forest hike to fairytale Berg Eltz Castle and a visit to the doll museum in Neef.

Austria Family: Fun in the Alps
June 27-July 4 and Aug. 8-15; 8 days / 7 nights at $3,298 per adult double ($780 single supplement); $2,968 first child, $2,638 additional child. Itinerary includes a toboggan ride in the hills of Hochkönig, scenic ride on a cable car, optional tandem paraglide or an afternoon of glacier skiing and a swoosh down the giant slide at the entrance to the Hallein salt mines.

The European cycling trips embrace ALA’s 6 guests to one guide ratio that has set a high industry standard. ALA manages all of the arrangements for its selected destinations that include iconic regions of North, Central and South America as well as southern Africa and now Europe. Small groups are limited to 12 guests (18 on family departures). Rates include first-class accommodations, most meals and beverages, expert guides, park entry fees, multisport activities such as hiking, biking, rafting, horseback riding and more, ground transportation and luggage service. Not included is round trip travel to the host city. Family programs, such as those in Europe, are suitable for ages 7 and up.

In late 2008 Dan Austin and Paul Lehman, ALA founders and partners, acquired the time-tested cycling tours veteran, Euro-Bike and Walking Tours with a 34-year track record of successfully providing active and adventurous vacations throughout Europe. ALA now has bases of operation on four continents: Europe, Africa, North and South America.

Ron van Dijk, formerly Director of Operations for Euro-Bike, has joined the ALA team, bringing 34 years of experience in small group European cycle touring to the table.

The ALA forte is to give guests a comprehensive and authentic insider’s view of regions visited. The new European programs will remain primarily cycling and cultural.

“Our programs are about the luxury of learning, stimulating activity and the tender loving care we lavish on our guests,” says Lehman.

For a copy of the 2009 catalog as well as information on ALA’s 66 unique itineraries for active adult and family travel, please call toll-free 1.800.575.1540, or e-mail To review current trips, schedules and itineraries visit

Source: Widness & Wiggens

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Ellen Barone has been creating words and images for travel and tourism since 1998. She co-founded and publishes the group travel blog and is currently at work on her first book "I Could Live Here".