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Healthy travel: hike, bike

The Baltimore Sun

Strap on your helmet and slip on your knapsack, it's time to think about biking and hiking - both wonderful ways to embrace a destination. Offerings like these take you close to places, are healthy exercise and just plain fun.

Save $100 per person on the June 3-9 Paths of Provence walking tour from Euro-Bike and Walking Tours. At $3,750, it boasts an itinerary filled with olive groves, vineyards, gorges and green hills, sunflowers and lavender - the kind of luscious scenery that inspired Cezanne, van Gogh and many others. Included are stays in three- or four-star hotels, breakfasts and dinners, luggage transit, multilingual guides, admissions and hotel taxes and tips. Group size is limited to 15. Call 800-321-6060 or go to eurobike.com for this and other trips.

Save 20 percent with BikeToursDirect, which represents dozens of European bicycle tour companies, on some July departures for four guided bicycle tours. The seven-night journeys, with discounted prices from about $940 to $1,000 per person, take in a lot of European scenery on leisurely to moderate-level routes in Tuscany, Italy; Venice, Italy; Salzburg, Germany; or the Danube area. Prices include accommodations; breakfast and dinner daily; a professional local guide; luggage transport; and all entries, guided tours and city tours. Go to biketours direct.com or call 877-462-2423.

New Hampshire's Bike the Whites is one of the more affordable inn-to-inn tours. There are three days of biking along back roads and gentle terrain in the White Mountains region, along with dining and accommodations at the Tamworth Inn in Tamworth, the 1785 Inn in North Conway and the Snowvillage Inn in Snowville. Packages start at $299 in May. Prices, which increase in summer months, include lodging, dining, maps, luggage transfer, roadside assistance and bike storage. Go to bikethewhites.com or call 800-421-1785.

The wines of the Sonoma and Napa valleys await bikers on Somerville-based DuVine Adventures' California tour. The five-night trip, at $2,895 per person, goes through wine valleys, redwood forests and the famously rugged Pacific Coast, all within 90 minutes of San Francisco. Included in this moderate-level tour are accommodations, breakfasts plus two lunches and dinners, guide services, spa access at one inn, wine tastings, use of bikes and baggage transport. Departure dates are May-October. Bikers can save $300 on the May 6 departure, which costs $2,595. Go to duvine.com or call 888-396-5383.

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