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Smart Deals: Biking in Europe



   Biking through Burgundy is a bit like pedaling through a great wine list. One moment you're in Pommard, the next in Volnay, on your way to Puligny-Montrachet. Around you are neatly-walled and carefully tended vineyards, as the winding roads go through some of France's prettiest 14th century villages, with purple lilacs and wisteria in full bloom. Discreet signs announce local wine producers with a modesty usually reserved for Swiss banks. A trip like this is about eating well, sleeping in some comfort, and riding through some of the best scenery in the world.

There are number of well-respected companies that offer European biking trips like this but one of them, DuVine Adventures, has been under my radar for too long. This Boston-based company founded by Andy Levine offers well-planned biking adventures in the destinations you might expect: France,  the Czech Republic, Italy, Ireland, Switzerland, Spain and Austria, with added jaunts in Argentina and in California wine country. In 14 years, they've developed a strong network. And price-wise, they're around 40 percent less than the high-end bike trips out there. But you still sleep in comfortable hotels and the occasional chateau. They're currently running a special through January 30, 2009 on selected departures, with a savings of at least $500 per couple.  For example, April 12-17, 2009 Puglia, Italy, save $800 per couple; April 19-24, 2009 Camino, Spain, save $900 per couple; May 3-8, 2009 Burgundy, France, save $500 per couple. Contact DuVine Adventures for more information.

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