Originally published in Northern Ireland Travel Magazine October 6, 2023
By Naomi Houston
Escape Adventures, an action-packed travel adventure company, has announced an awe-inspiring six-day cycling tour of California’s Central Coast from Santa Barbara to Big Sur.
The tours, which start at around £3760, will take place between March and October 2024 and will cover many bucket list highlights, including:
– The iconic Highway 1
– Monarch Butterfly Grove
– Harmony Headlands State Park
– Point Lobos
– Monterey Bay Aquarium
– Plus, cycling the world-famous 17-Mile Drive.
The tour price covers internal land expenses and services, including all transportation, meals, snacks, non-alcoholic beverages, group supplies and community gear.
Permits, licenses, park fees, reservations, and lodging are also included, along with at least two professionally trained trip leaders, a mobile-first aid and mechanic station, spare bikes, and support vehicles, so all you have to worry about is immersing yourself in the experience.
Escape Adventures Director Jared Fisher said: “This is an ideal tour of California’s Central Coast.” “In addition to the amazing cycling, wildlife viewing, and iconic sites, everyday guests will savour superb regional cuisine shaped by farm-to-table ethos.”
The thrilling itinerary is as follows:
Day 1: Meet in Santa Barbara and shuttle to Los Olivos. Cycle past rich vineyards mixed with the farmlands of the Santa Ynez Valley. Visit a 107-year-old Danish-Lutheran colony, rich with windmills and half-timbered Scandinavian architecture. Experience wine and olive oil tastings.
DAY 2: Stop in Los Alamos, hailed as “the coolest town in Santa Barbara County”. Follow gorgeous back roads, including a superb cyclo-touring route that swerves into Pismo Beach, a classic Central Coast community. Visit the Monarch Butterfly Grove, where tens of thousands of Monarch butterflies gather.
DAY 3: Soar up the ruggedly beautiful Big Sur/Central Coast, all sand, sea, and sky. Passing Morro Bay, Estero Bay, as well as the Harmony Headlands State Park, the route sweeps across rolling hills which are home to giant pelicans, not to mention a host of other sea and shorebirds.
DAY 4: Roll up to the historic 70-foot Piedras Blancas Light Station that was built in 1874 atop white rocks on an overhanging spit of headland. Experience the massive sea lion colony. At McWay Falls, witness an 80-foot plume of freshwater emerging from a granite cliff spilling onto the sandy beach below. Spend the night in Big Sur Village, whose seaside cliffs are framed by Redwoods.
DAY 5: Cycle from the Big Sur coast toward Point Lobos: a broad sweep of raw coastal park with a refreshing ‘path less travelled’ vibe. Wildlife viewing opportunities will be ripe, including whales, seals, and sea lions. After lunch in the park, take a short shuttle to Carmel-by-the-Sea. Visit Monterey Bay Aquarium, defined by soaring glass-walled tanks that showcase 35,000 animals plus 550 plant species.
DAY 6: Experience the world-famous 17-Mile Drive. Privately managed and minimally travelled, this phenomenal cycling route follows a smooth roadbed that hugs the coastline from Pebble Beach to Pacific Grove. Take in extravagant mansions and unique, impressive dwellings. The trip concludes with a shuttle back to Santa Barbara.
For more information, visit https://escapeadventures.com/tour/california-coast-big-sur-road-bike-tour
About Escape Adventures:
Since 1992, Escape Adventures has been blessed to shape and lead adventure travel vacations through some of the most awe-inspiring natural destinations in the world. Building on over 100 destinations, Escape Adventures caters to the full spectrum of active travellers, respective to fitness level and activity type. From road cyclist to mountain biker to electric biker, hiker, and multi-sport enthusiast, and from first-timer to friends and family groups of all ability levels, Escape Adventures looks forward to many new and exciting adventures with you.