Luxury Tours: Admit it-you've envisioned yourself on the Tour de France, zipping at break neck speed through charming French towns and open country roads. But when you do a reality check, you're no Lance Armstrong. That doesn't mean you're sanctioned to your sofa for the rest of your life. A new tour from Breakaway Adventures, a company that specializes in relaxed overseas getaways, lets cyclists live out their dreams but without the risk of careening headlong into a crepe stand (although they'll make no promises, the pedaling is up to you). Pedal the same streets of the Tour de France "peloton," minus the breakneck speed, crashes and sore muscles.
On the nine-day, eight-night Tour de France for Wimps tour, available now through Sept. 23 from $1,759 to $1,855/person, guests will tour the Alsace region. While cyclists on the tour may not total the Tour de France racers' 115 miles a day, they will travel an admirable 86 miles over the course of the tour.
Sites along the tour of the region, known for its vineyards and wineries, include Colmar, the Venice of Alsace; Turckheim, whose medieval cobbled streets are still patrolled by a night watchman; and Andlau, whose Romanesque church sits in a sea of vines. Several of the tour's hotels offer Michelin-starred restaurants, and the chef at Rouffach was even a former cook at the French presidential palace.
A fully-supported independent tour, guests travel at their own pace without a guide, but with a local staff member always on call to assist with bike issues, deliver wine and move luggage from place to place. Travelers meet at the beginning of the tour for a debriefing and question and answer session where they receive a detailed itinerary with maps and visual pointers to guide them.
"We decided to offer the Tour de France for Wimps tour to give those who dream of wearing the yellow jersey a chance to follow in the footsteps of these amazing athletes," says Carol Keskitalo, co-owner of Breakaway Adventures. Are you ready to don your yellow jersey? Visit www.breakaway-adventures.com or call 1-800-567-6286.
For LxM Amy Covington
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